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Wales to Get Major New Film and TV Studios

The launch of Bad Wolf Studios


Production company Bad Wolf has announced that it will open a major new television and film studio in Wales with the backing of the Welsh government. The plans come amid a production boom in Britain, with new shooting facilities being developed across the country to meet the burgeoning demand.

Wolf Studios Wales will be based in Cardiff, the Welsh capital, and is set to be one of the largest film and television facilities in Wales, marking a significant investment in the country as an international production hub for high-end television.

Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates described the move as a “strategically important acquisition” that would help meet the growing demand for studio space. “A facility of this size will ensure Wales retains a competitive advantage with enough large-scale studio space to service the productions wishing to film here,” Skates said.

Wolf Studios Wales will provide production facilities for Bad Wolf’s slate, including the company’s upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” for the BBC and New Line Cinema, which marks New Line’s first move into British television. Bad Wolf had said it would require a minimum of 200,000 square feet of shooting space, with two large stages with ceiling heights of more than 10 meters in order to accommodate its large-scale productions.

“With so many Bad Wolf productions in development, we wanted a permanent base for our productions and a user-friendly studio environment for the many other television series and films headed to Wales,” Bad Wolf CEO Jane Tranter said.

Skates said Bad Wolf’s pipeline of projects would inject more than £120 million ($155 million) into the film and TV sector in Wales.

British tax incentives have helped make the U.K. a popular destination for both film and television productions. BFI figures showed film production generated £1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) in U.K. spend in 2016, 13% up year-on-year and the highest level since records began in 1994. U.S.-studio-backed inward investment accounted for 67% of the total, bringing in £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) from such titles as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”

High-end TV productions delivered £726 million ($937 million) in U.K. spend in 2016. Inward investment titles, such as the second season of Netflix’s “The Crown,” generated £478 million ($617 million) – also achieving a new high since records began.

As a result many studio facilities are booked up well in advance and a number of new regional hubs are being established. In April, Scottish ministers approved plans for the first purpose-built film and television studios in Scotland, located on the outskirts of Edinburgh. London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced last October that his office had launched a feasibility study of a new studio in East London that could become London’s biggest. Pinewood Studios is in the process of adding 100,000 square meters of new facilities, including 12 new stages.

Wolf Studios Wales will be based near Cardiff’s center on a lot that the Welsh government will lease on commercial terms to Bad Wolf, the production company set up in 2015 by former BBC executives Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner (pictured).

Bad Wolf, which has offices in Wales and Los Angeles, recently produced the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated HBO thriller “The Night Of,” starring Riz Ahmed. In March it was announced that Len Blavatnik’s Access Entertainment had taken a 24.9% stake in the company.

Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen’s Access Ent. Backs Bad Wolf

Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen's Access Ent.


Bad Wolf is led by former BBC execs Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner

Access Entertainment, led by former director of BBC Television Danny Cohen and owned by billionaire industrialist Len Blavatnik, has taken a 24.9% stake in Bad Wolf, the production company behind the forthcoming TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s epic “His Dark Materials.”

Bad Wolf was launched in 2015 by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, former BBC drama executives responsible for “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Da Vinci’s Demons.” The company, which has the support of the Welsh government and is co-sited in South Wales and Los Angeles, produces high-end TV and film for the global television market.

“This investment by Access Entertainment provides Bad Wolf with further support to fast-track its already burgeoning scripted productions and grow its business globally,” according to a statement.

In addition to “His Dark Materials,” Bad Wolf is also in the midst of producing “A Discovery of Witches,” based on the bestselling novels by Deborah Harkness, and an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s “Warlord Chronicles,” alongside original scripts from “some of the most respected writers in the industry.”

Tranter, chief executive of Bad Wolf, said: “This investment is a fantastic endorsement of our vision for Bad Wolf and the Welsh government’s strategy for the industry. Access Entertainment is a bold and ambitious company who share our appetite for drama of scale. Joining forces with Len Blavatnik and Danny Cohen was absolutely central to our decision. We have had a long and productive relationship with Danny over the years, and Len is a true visionary who immediately understood what Bad Wolf stands for.”

Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Entertainment’s parent company Access Industries, said: “We established Access Entertainment to work with the world’s best creative talent and support them in realizing their ambitions. We are delighted to partner with the Bad Wolf team at this critical stage in their development.”

Cohen, president of Access Entertainment, said: “I’m very excited to be forming this new partnership with Bad Wolf. Jane and Julie are brilliant television executives, highly creative and with an appetite for projects of global scale and impact. I’m very confident that Bad Wolf will produce outstanding work in the coming years, and we are looking forward to going on this journey with them.”

The architect of the partnership with Access Entertainment was Bad Wolf’s chief operating officer Miles Ketley, who has been with the company since its early days. On completion of the deal and the first phase of Bad Wolf, he will step down to become a partner in a new media investment firm.

At the helm of the BBC’s drama division, Tranter and Gardner, together with Russell T. Davies, relaunched “Doctor Who” and created “Torchwood.” They subsequently moved to Los Angeles to head up BBC Worldwide Productions, where they produced three seasons of historical drama “Da Vinci’s Demons” for Starz and Fox.

Your Guide to TV’s British Period Dramas, Sorted Chronologically by Era

Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson

There’s something inherently pleasing about tuning into a good British period drama. The accents, the costumes, the landscapes, and even the colloquialisms are an aesthetic treat for the eyes and ears. As another such drama lands on streaming today — Netflix’s most expensive production to-date, The Crown — we’ve rounded up all the British-produced period dramas currently on the air, and sorted them in chronological order for your convenience. More a fan of the Victorian-era monarchy than 1960s detective capers? Fear not, we have all of your interests covered below.


The Last Kingdom

Short pitch: Set in the late 9th century, the series primarily revolves around the fictional Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who must choose between his birth country, Wessex, and the people who raised him after he was orphaned, the Danish, when a war between the two kingdoms rages on.
The costume scale: The Saxons and Danes have distinctive visual identities, but the costumes themselves aren’t inherently special. (Lots of armor and assorted battle gear.)
Where can I watch it? Netflix



Short pitch: There’s a whole lot of sex and nudity on this steamy drama, which chronicles the life of Louis XIV in the mid-17th century when the Sun King decides to move his court from Paris to Versailles.
The costume scale: The French courts know a thing or two about grandeur, to say the least.
Where can I watch it? No legal streaming services yet, but it’s currently airing in the U.S. on Ovation.



Short pitch: A debonair and stubborn captain returns to his home in Cornwall following the end of the American Revolutionary War, where he attempts to rebuild his life and faces many difficulties in the process.
The costume scale: Frocks and tricorn hats and breeches galore, but it’s generic for the setting.
Where can I watch it? PBS, Amazon



Short pitch: Beginning when Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837 at the age of 18, the first season of the show recounts everything from her early years: the romances, the politics, and the birth of her first child.
The costume scale: All of the most opulent wardrobes you can possibly imagine for the mid-19th-century monarchy. (The royal jewels are pretty grand, too.)
Where can I watch it? Coming to PBS early next year, or available on the ITV Hub if outside the U.S.

Ripper Street

Short pitch: A competent group of detective inspectors and captains patrol the particularly violent area of London’s East End in the late 19th century and do their best to solve any and all crimes that occur … which is usually a lot.
The costume scale: Lots of great looks for both the men (three-piece suits, bowler hats!) and the women (bell-like silhouettes, corsets!), which provide a nice juxtaposition to the gritty cityscape.
Where can I watch it? Netflix


Peaky Blinders

Short pitch: A cunning gangster family — also known as the real-life Peaky Blinders gang — is the epicenter of a post–World War I Birmingham. Their fearless leader has a penchant for violence, cunning mind tricks, and avoiding the police.
The costume scale: You won’t find a lot of colorful dressers in gloomy central England — there are a lot of muted, dark hues that are often paired with herringbone tweed.
Where can I watch it? Netflix

The Durrells (also referred to as The Durrells in Corfu)

Short pitch: Due to some pesky financial problems, a mother, Louisa Durrell, and her four children move from the south of England to the idyllic island of Corfu in the 1930s. It takes them a bit of time to adjust to the new locale.
The costume scale: Light and airy ensembles that are perfect for spur-of-the-moment seaside strolls.
Where can I watch it? PBS



Short pitch: This incredibly sexy, bonkers time-travel drama follows a former World War II nurse who gets transported back to mid-18th-century Scotland while on a trip with her husband in Inverness. Plenty of brutal historical happenings and timey-wimey romantic entanglements ensue.
The costume scale: Three words: Swan. Nipple. Dress. (The costumes are incredible.)
Where can I watch it? STARZ on Demand, Amazon


Father Brown

Short pitch: An astute Roman Catholic priest in a small Cotswold village helps assist the local police force with solving an array of crimes.
The costume scale: Conservative clergy chic for the 1950s. Unremarkable, really.
Where can I watch it? PBS

The Crown

Short pitch: Netflix has huge plans for this very expensive period drama, with the first season beginning with Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding to Prince Philip and the tumultuous early years of her reign.
The costume scale: Nothing less than stunning and ornate, literally fit for a queen. You will ooh and you will ah.
Where can I watch it? Netflix, beginning November 4


Short pitch: An Anglican priest in the 1950s turns out to have quite the natural sleuthing chops in his cozy Cambridgeshire village, which earns him the trust and mentorship of a local detective inspector. They’re good at solving cases together!
The costume scale: Once again, clergy chic, but far more progressive than Father Brown, especially for the women.
Where can I watch it? Amazon, PBS

Call the Midwife

Short pitch: A group of hardworking nurse midwives in the late 1950s juggle their difficult medical duties — in a particularly poor part of London, no less — while living in an Anglican nursing convent.
The costume scale: Often drab to accompany the very drab East End, but those blue medical dresses and red cardigans are iconic.
Where can I watch it? Netflix, PBS

Inspector George Gently (also referred to as George Gently)

Short pitch: This 1960s-set drama in northern England follows an old-fashioned, methodological inspector who pursues justice with the help of his faithful sidekick sergeant.
The costume scale: Pretty normal dressing for a professional, police workplace setting.
Where can I watch it? Hulu, Netflix


Short pitch: A diligent police constable and his equally able-bodied team solve various crimes in 1960s Oxford.
The costume scale: A plethora of well-tailored, nondescript suits.
Where can I watch it? PBS

Love, Nina

Short pitch: A 20-something girl moves to the buzzing metropolis of London to take a job as a live-in nanny for a single mother with two rambunctious boys.
The costume scale: Exactly what you imagine people in the mid-’80s to have worn. Things are starting to get a bit grungy!
Where can I watch it? No legal streaming services yet, but the episodes can be purchased on Amazon.

Brexit Is “Major Blow” to Film, TV Industries

“This decision has just blown up our foundation,” says the independent film and TV alliance after Britain votes to leave the European Union.
The entertainment industry is reeling following the result of the historic Brexit vote, warning that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could have disastrous consequences.

Film and television producers worry the Brexit will create uncertainty and could unravel much of the financial infrastructure the independent industry relies on.

“The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry,” said Michael Ryan, chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance in a statement. “This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies. The U.K. creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy — this is likely to be devastating for us.”

The British entertainment industry came out almost unanimously in favor of remaining in the EU, warning that a Brexit would threaten the export of British film and TV series to Europe and would cut off British filmmakers from European subsidies, such as the MEDIA program, which funneled around $180 million into Brit productions between 2007 and 2015.

Pact, an association that represents independent producers in Britain, said it was “disappointed” with the Brexit vote, given that 85 percent of its members voted in a survey before the referendum to remain in the EU. Pact, however, said it would work with the U.K. government and EU institutions to ensure that U.K. producers maintain the “commercial advantages that we currently have.” The group admitted Brexit meant “there will be a degree of uncertainty in the medium-term” as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU.

While noting that a survey of its members showed a 96 percent support for Remain, and just 4 percent in favor of Brexit, the Federation said it was “vital for all sides to work together to ensure that the interests of our sector on issues, including access to funding and talent, are safeguarded as the U.K. forges its new relationship with Europe. The importance of British culture in representing our country to the world will be greater than ever.”

The Federation noted that Britain’s creative industries were worth $117 billion (£84.1 billion) to the economy in 2013-2014 and Europe is currently the largest export market for the U.K.’s creative industries, accounting for 57 percent of all overseas trade.

Earlier this week, a group of leading film producers, led by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and including James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Iain Canning (The King’s Speech), Lord David Puttnam (Chariots of Fire), Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Elizabeth Karlsen (Carol) urged to country to reject Brexit. The group warned of a return to the “horror” of a pre-EU world, where British exports were subject to taxes and tariffs when they crossed European borders.

“Our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away,” the letter read. “From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital funding or by collaborating across borders.”

A pre-Brexit study by research group Enders Analysis forecast a possible “post-Brexit recession” that “will cause a hyper-cyclical decline in the advertising revenues of broadcasters and publishers” in the U.K.

The Enders study said the British audiovisual industry was “highly exposed” because more than half of its exports, which totaled $5.5 billion (£4 billion) in 2014, go to the EU. It warned that the Brexit would “further compromise” its growth forecast for the U.K. industry, which had been for 5.4 percent growth in advertising revenue for the 2016-2018 period.

Once outside the European Union common market, Britain will have to renegotiate its status. Brexit supporters point to countries such as Norway and Iceland, which are not EU members but enjoy access to the common market as members of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Enders report, however, notes that EEA members are still required to implement the EU’s regulations, even if they have no say in writing them. The EU could object to certain aspects of British law that favor its local industry, such as the U.K.’s generous tax breaks for TV and film productions that shoot there.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions conference on Friday, William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, spoke to risks to the broader U.K. economy post-Brexit. While he urged caution, he said he thinks financial services will make a quick exit from the U.K. and relocate to other places in Europe following the Leave vote.

Allison Pataki’s ‘Empress’ Novels in the Works as Two Miniseries

Empress Miniseries


Andras Hamori’s H2O Motion Pictures is developing a pair of miniseries based on Allison Pataki’s novels about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Variety has learned exclusively.

The company has optioned “The Accidental Empress” and “Sisi: Empress on Her Own.” Pataki is the daughter of former New York governor George Pataki.

“The Accidental Empress” revolves around the tumultuous love affair between Elisabeth (Sisi), the daughter of a Bavarian duke, and the young emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Franz Joseph Habsburg. Sisi was originally sent to chaperone her older sister on her first visit with the emperor.

“Empress on Her Own” follows her struggle to assert her right to the throne beside her husband, to win the love of her people and the world, and to save an empire. She had married Franz Joseph in 1854 at the age of 16 and was killed by an anarchist in 1898.

 “The Sisi character that Alison Pataki has written is a vibrant character that is still relevant today,” Hamori said.

Hamori will produce, Julia Rosenberg will co-produce and Anonymous Content’s Doreen Wilcox is an executive producer on the project — planned as two four-hour miniseries.

Pataki also authored “The Traitor’s Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America.”

Variety reported in February that H20 Pictures was developing Dan Mazer’s rock-star comedy “Stiff,” the thriller “American Solo” and the biopic “Herzl,” based on the life of political activist Theodore Herzl — one of the key players in the creation of the state of Israel.

BBC Execs Behind ‘Doctor Who’ Revival Launch Production Banner

The Hollywood Reporter   7/27/2015   by Alex Ritman

Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner

Bad Wolf, named after a ‘Doctor Who’ episode, has been set up by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner with help from the Welsh government.

Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, the former BBC executives who helped revive Doctor Who and bring to life Torchwood and Da Vinci’s Demons, have set up their own production company with support from the Welsh government in the U.K.

Bad Wolf, announced Monday, will be co-sited in the U.K. and L.A., and will have its production base at a permanent studio in South Wales. It was here a decade ago where Tranter and Gardner, along with Russell T. Davies, helped re-ignite the local TV industry with Doctor Who when they helmed BBC Drama. The name Bad Wolf comes from an episode of the rebooted Doctor Who, with then showrunner Davies giving Tranter and Gardner permission to use it for their new outfit.

Focused on creating high-end TV and film for the global market, Bad Wolf is forecast to bring in roughly $150 million to the local Welsh economy over the next 10 years, according to the company, with development deals with U.S. networks and studios reportedly close to being set up.

Edwina Hart, the Welsh minister for business, enterprise, technology and science said that Bad Wolf has the potential to be a “game changer” for the local creative economy.

“Jane and Julie already have strong and established relationships with both U.S. and U.K. broadcasters and their slate of international productions will play an important role in developing and sustaining a strong crew base in Wales and will ensure global television content is produced from the region for many years to come,” she added.

After heading to LA to oversee BBC Worldwide Productions, Tranter and Gardner produced three series of Da Vinci’s Demons for Stars and Fox, which was also shot in Wales. Their six-year tenure, which saw the two produce 850 hours of scripted and unscripted programming, recently resulted in 10 Emmy nominations for Dancing with the Stars, Life Below Zero and Getting On.

“TV has changed beyond all recognition in the past decade,” said Tranter. “Huge international productions made on movie scale budgets have put British TV at the forefront of this revolution. We are delighted to be working with Welsh Government to grow this industry and continue to benefit the economy of Wales.”

Gardner added that the talent in South Wales was “world class.”

37 Reasons Why Denmark Will Ruin You For Life

The best and most underrated European country.

4/15/2015   BuzzFeed   by

1. Let’s talk about Denmark, shall we?

Frederiksborg Castle

2. It may be a small European country, but it’s also seriously amazing.


3. From the villages of Jutland…


4. To the canals of Copenhagen.

5. Denmark is just gorgeous.


6. And often surreally beautiful.

The Øresund Bridge, between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden

7. It is breathtaking in the winter…

8. (Even in a middle of a snowstorm.)


9. In the summer…


10. And any other season.

Kongens Have, Copenhagen

11. The country has great castles.

Frederiksborg Castle

12. MANY great castles.

Egeskov Castle

13. Including Kronborg, of Hamlet fame.

It is known as Elsinore in the play.

14. But Denmark doesn’t live in the past.

The Black Diamond, the modern extension to the Royal Danish Library, in Copenhagen

15. It embraces and fosters contemporary art and architecture. Like in the ARoS museum in Århus.

16. Or buildings like the Gemini Residence in Copenhagen.

17. Denmark has beautiful wild beaches…

Near Skagen, Jutland

18. And quaint cottages.


19. It also has amazing fauna.


20. No wonder then that the Danes are super eco-friendly!

21. They basically live on their bikes.


22. No matter how many people they have to carry.


23. Or how bad the weather is.

Or how bad the weather is.


24. Denmark is also the birthplace of Lego AND the home to LEGOLAND!

In other words: If you don’t like Denmark, you don’t like fun.

25. Danes know how to have fun, and Denmark is home to the two oldest operating amusement parks in the world. This is Dyrehavsbakken, the oldest one, in a picture from 1901.

Danes know how to have fun, and Denmark is home to the two oldest operating amusement parks in the world. This is Dyrehavsbakken, the oldest one, in a picture from 1901.

26. And this is Tivoli, which has been the most delightful place on Earth since it opened in 1843.

And this is Tivoli, which has been the most delightful place on Earth since it opened in 1843.

It is also located right in the heart of Copenhagen.

27. The food is also delicious. Whether it’s high-end meals, like at Noma…

The food is also delicious. Whether it's high-end meals, like at Noma...

AKA the best restaurant in the world.

28. …or the always satisfying Smørrebrød.

29. But most importantly, Denmark is the birthplace of Carlsberg, probably the best beer in the world.

30. Can we take a few seconds to talk about how awesome Copenhagen is?

Can we take a few seconds to talk about how awesome Copenhagen is?


31. It is beautiful.

It is beautiful.

Christiansborg Palace

32. Full of history.

Full of history.


33. And it strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary, which is a rare and remarkable thing in Europe.

And it strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary, which is a rare and remarkable thing in Europe.

34. The city is also home to Christiania, an amazing autonomous neighborhood that has welcomed alternative cultures since 1971.

35. So yeah, Denmark is pretty amazing.

So yeah, Denmark is pretty amazing.

Amagertorv Square, Copenhagen

36. And you can be sure of one thing…

And you can be sure of one thing...


37. If you spend some time there, it will ruin you for any other place.

If you spend some time there, it will ruin you for any other place.

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse.

6 Rules on How to Write — And How NOT to Write — a Biopic (Guest Blog)

12/3/2014   The Wrap  

“Big Eyes” and “Ed Wood” writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski offer their anti-biopic commandments

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are responsible for some of the most entertaining and strangest fact-based films of recent years, writing, producing or handling both jobs on movies about hapless director Ed Wood, porn king Larry Flynt, comic Andy Kaufman, TV star and amateur sextape pioneer Bob Crane and, with Tim Burton‘s “Big Eyes,” artists Margaret and Walter Keane.   

As the American Cinematheque prepares to kick off a three-day series devoted to the Alexander/Karaszewski biopics on Wednesday (details at the Cinematheque website), the duo agreed to come up with a list of their own half-dozen biopic commandments for TheWrap. They call it “Scott and Larry’s Anti-Biopic Rules.”

Never start with an actor sitting on a porch in old-age makeup telling a journalist how it all began. “I remember…” Ugh!

Why are biopics always three hours long? Treat it like a regular film, with a tight three-act structure. In our bios the content might be strange, but the form is friendly. We try to hit pages 10, 30, 90, then get out with a rousing climax.

Truth is stranger than fiction…so use it. Movies have become cookie-cutter, and true events are a Trojan horse for sneaking in arcane, interesting material. Exploit the opportunity!

Pick an end point that ties up all the themes and plots in a satisfying manner. Uplifting is nice, but bittersweet and ironic is good, too. We always ask the question, “Why will this person be remembered?” The answer is usually where we put our ending.

You need more than an interesting life. What are the larger ideas? What’s the context for the character’s passion? Why will someone who knows nothing about the subject matter be interested?

Turning someone’s life into a two-hour drama means you have to omit a lot. First wives, college days, beloved Grandma … nothing is sacred. Only include the people in your character’s life who propel your story. Cover as little time as possible — only use the years that really matter.

And for God’s sake, don’t include their death. Unless they have a really interesting death, such as dying in the Hindenburg or faking their demise as a piece of performance art, you don’t need it. It’s irrelevant. Indiana Jones didn’t die in his movie. What’s good enough for Indiana is good enough for us.

PBS Chief Paula Kerger Talks ‘Sherlock,’ Streaming and Cable’s Exit From Education

7/22/2014   The Hollywood Reporter

“I’m the only person who will stand on this stage and say I hope people steal our ideas,” the president and CEO tells the TCA crowd, “because that means more good television for the public.”

Paula Kerger

With Downton Abbey, Sherlock and a few other scripted successes currently on its roster, PBS is certainly part of the “golden age of television” that seems to have been touted more than ever during this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour. But one thing isn’t quite as golden, says chief Paula Kerger, is the kind of nonfiction programming currently on offer.

The public broadcaster’s president and CEO spoke with reporters at the start of its two-day session on Tuesday morning — and in addition to touting big plans for streaming (and teasing a move into original stateside dramas), she emphasized that her channels were among the shrinking number of those committed to educational nonfiction and not just reality.

“A lot of cable networks that were at one point formed as an alternative to PBS, they’ve gone down a different path,” said Kerger, mentioning A&E, History and Bravo. “I often say we’re not in the same business. Our work is very different.”

Education is still a priority

Yes, it’s great to be the U.S. home of Emmy darling and international phenomenon Downton Abbey. That’s just one piece of the PBS puzzle. Kerger emphasized that their scripted successes, while great, are not her biggest mandate. Kerger brought up cable’s significant departure from science, art, history and curriculum-based kids programming as voids she is constantly trying to fill. “Art, except for competition series, is gone,” she said. “Ovation is still out there and trying to capture an audience, but we see ourselves as standing alone in that space. … My hope is that if we do our job well and more people watch, other channels will follow suit. I’m the only person who will stand on this stage and say I hope people steal our ideas, because that means more good television for the public.”

Ratings don’t matter — but they’re still growing

Several times during the Q&A, Kerger emphasized that the publicly funded organization put little stock in viewership. Their “mission” is still to air programming that connects and educates viewers, but knowing people are watching still helps. “We actually have a broad audience,” she said. “If you look at the numbers, 90 percent of people are watching us at some point in the year.” What’s more: Nights with targeted programming — like Sunday’s drama hub, home to Downton Abbey — are growing substantially year over year. Sunday, for 2014, is up 14 percent from the previous year.

Streaming is key

Using the day to also announce that Ken Burns‘ sprawling, 14-hour The Roosevelts: An Intimate History will be available in full online only a day after the first part airs, Kerger said that boosting streaming options is a big priority for both PBS’ widely distributed content and its local offerings. “We have put a lot of effort into [streaming],” she said. “To be able to be in different platforms where people are looking for content seems like a good investment.”

Sherlock‘s return date remains up in the air

The recent announcement that Sherlock will tape additional episodes in 2015 has not cleared up when the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman starrer will be back on the air in the U.S. Kerger was quite happy, however, knowing that they still have the rights to air the Christmas special and three additional episodes. “We’re so proud to have it on public broadcasting,” she said. “We have to wait to really know when it will be finished. Whenever it comes, we’ll put it in a wonderful place, and we know it’s going to be terrific.”

Domestic drama could come soon

No, there was no news of a new series order, but when asked about the likelihood of PBS moving into original dramas produced here in the U.S. — not just the imported Masterpiece fare — Kerger was playfully cryptic. “I’m smiling, and I’ll be able to tell you something sometime,” she said. “How’s that for a tease?”


Arabella Stein VRP

FBF-AbnerSteinAgency-ArabellaSteinKateWalkerCaspianDennis (Arabella Stein is the first one from the left.)
ARABELLA STEIN (UK) is an agent with the London-based literary agency Abner Stein. She began her career at Pan Macmillan UK and was subsequently commercial fiction publisher at Fourth Estate and paperback publishing director at Bloomsbury UK. Arabella Stein is a guest of the VIP Program, an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts.

LinkedIn (can’t access her page):

Genres this agent is interested in:

Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Women’s fiction, Science fiction, Paranormal romance, Horror, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Fantasy, Erotica, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction.

Abner Stein Agency

10 Roland Gardens
United Kingdom
Phone: (020) 7373 0456
Fax: (020) 7370 6316

Caspian Dennis
Arabella Stein

Official Website: (not much information)

Founded 1971. Mainly represents US agents and authors but handles some full-length fiction, general non-fiction and children’s literature. No scientific, technical, etc. No scripts.
·      Commission Home 10%; US & Translation 20%.
·      Not taking on any new clients at present.
·      Member of AAA

Partners and Clinets: (according to what I’ve found on Google):
Wales Literary Agency
Greenburger Associates
Philip G. Spitzer
Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises
James Fitzgerald Agency
Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency
Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
Carol Mann Agency
Margaret Cezair-Thompson
And so on.

Caroline Weber mentioned in her book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution “Arabella Stein worked wonders with the sale of this book in Great Britain.”

Gillian Bagwell mentioned her in the thank-you list of the book The September Queen.

(And a few similar appearance.)
In The Media:

Abner Stein’s daughter to run agency ‘as partnership’
01.17.11 | The Bookseller

The Abner Stein literary agency will be run as a partnership by his daughter Arabella, as well as Sandy Violette and Caspian Dennis, following Stein’s death last week.

In a statement, the agency said Abner Stein died last Wednesday (12th January) following a brief illness. It said: “He is survived by his daughters Jessica and Arabella, his sister Linda Clark, and his granddaughter Natalie. He will be greatly missed by his family and all his many friends and colleagues in London, New York, and worldwide.”

Stein put in place a succession plan several years ago, which will see Arabella Stein, Sandy Violette and Caspian Dennis run the agency in partnership.

Stein was born in Massachusetts in 1938 and worked at several American publishers before moving to London in the 1960s to join Sphere. He formed the eponymous literary agency in 1971, representing American publishers and agents as well as British and overseas clients.

(Arabella’s fundraising page for Little Hearts Matter:
Agent Abner Stein Dies
1/27/2011 | Publishers Weekly

Longtime agent Abner Stein died earlier this month. He was 70. Stein worked at various American houses before moving to London in the 1960s to join Sphere Books. In 1971, he launched his own eponymous agency, representing American publishers and agents, as well as British clients and others from around the globe. In the wake of his death, the Abner Stein Agency will be run as partnership between (his daughter) Arabella Stein, Sandy Violette, and Caspian Dennis.

Faber buys two from Lippman
09.17.12 | The Bookseller

Faber and Faber has acquired the rights to two new crime novels from American novelist Laura Lippman.

The writer’s previous books were published in the UK by HarperCollins’ commercial imprint, Avon, but her 18th novel, And When She Was Good, will now be with Faber’s crime and thriller list.

Rights were bought for the UK and Commonwealth by Faber senior editor Angus Cargill from Arabella Stein on behalf of Vicky Bijur.

The e-book version of the novel will be released in November, with a mass-marker paperback following in May 2013.

Lippman’s US publishers, Morrow, will publish the books simultaneously.

S&S to publish tale of wartime bravery
01/13/14 | The Bookseller

Simon & Schuster UK is set to publish the true story of Polish nurse Irena Sendler who helped to smuggle nearly 2,500 out of the Warsaw ghetto during the 1940s Holocaust.

The book was signed through Arabella Stein at Abner Stein on behalf of Lauren Abramo at Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

Book Deals: The Round-up

Senior editor Kate Howard bought British Commonwealth rights in the title from Arabella Stein at Abner Stein on behalf of Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media, with plans to publish in hardcover in autumn 2014.

(And a few other book deals on the internet.)

Abner Stein: Literary agent who championed American writing in the United Kingdom
4/5/2011 | The Independent


For more than 30 years Abner Stein was one of London’s most successful but least visible literary agents; this despite the fact that he worked with a select group of American agents and publishers on whose behalf he represented some of the most important American bestselling authors of the past 20 years. These included Dan Brown, John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen, Sue Grafton, Audrey Niffenegger, Jane Smiley, Amy Tan, David Baldacci and hundreds of others. Arguably no other literary agent had so many bestsellers, nor such a dazzling list of authors, with repeat successes every year (the Holy Grail of every publisher and literary agent).

Yet, despite this staggering success and exemplary reputation in the book trade, Stein was invisible outside it, refusing ever to speak to the press or give interviews. While some agents want to be stars, elbowing their authors aside to bask in the limelight, Stein always remained in the shadows. He believed agents had no business courting publicity, but everything to do championing their authors’ interests and making publishers behave.

As one of his clients, the bestselling writer Raymond Feist, said: “Abner was old-school. Witty, knowledgeable regarding his work and the larger industry in which he practised it, Abner was the sort of person to whom a handshake was as good as a contract. He spoke truth to power, as the saying goes, dealing with authors whose egos made them as difficult as heads of state, publishers whose agendas might not necessarily be in Abner’s client’s best interests, and deftly navigating the shifting landscape of publishing over decades.”

Abner Stein was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1938. In 1964 he moved to London from New York when he was head-hunted to help create a new paperback publisher, Sphere, being set up by Lord Thomson, then owner of The Times. At the time Penguin and Pan were the leading imprints, although paperbacks were not yet a solid part of the ecology of the book world, as they were in the US.

Stein also founded the Poem of the Month Club, an ambitious subscription operation run from his Battersea home. Each poem was signed by the poet, and these included Fleur Adcock, Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, Brian Patten, Gavin Ewart, John Lehmann, DJ Enright, WH Auden, George Barker, Elizabeth Jennings, Anthony Thwaite, Stephen Spender, Roy Fuller, C Day Lewis, Stevie Smith and Robert Graves, for whose autograph Abner travelled specially to Majorca.

In 1971 Stein set up his eponymous agency. The Abner Stein Agency was, and has remained, unique because it was built on a co-agenting model – jointly representing authors in conjunction with another (almost invariably American) agency. Stein recognised very early on that literary culture, and particularly the mass market, was globalising, following trends in films and television, and that great American authors were not being properly sold into the UK. As the English, and indeed international, appetite for American writing grew, so did Stein’s agency. Whether it was crime, thrillers, literary fiction or the most commercial titles, the agency, through its arrangements with New York and international agencies, had the pick of the titles.

There were two secrets to its success. First, absolutely meticulous efficiency and flawless administration in a business not recognised for world-class organisation; this is a rare and underappreciated skill. Second, an amazing nose for the potential bestseller. Stein had the enviable knack of picking out the special books that would dominate bestseller lists for weeks and make a house’s fortune. These were not submitted with a perfect word-processed letter, but a short note, hand-typed by Abner himself on an obsolete Olivetti typewriter with a raised capital “S” (a troublesome letter from Mr Stein), and included Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence and Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie.

In the late 1990s naysayers predicted the demise of co-agenting as the big publishing groups consolidated and tried to buy the biggest properties globally. But with a few exceptions this hasn’t happened because it is far more important to authors to be placed with the right house (for the right money) in each market. And only a great agent on the ground can do this. Jonathan Safran Foer, a client of the agency, expressed it perfectly: “Abner Stein was, professionally, and over time personally, like a father to me. He always fiercely defended me (and ‘fiercely’ really is the right word here – just ask anyone who has to sit across a table from him in negotiations). He was my uncompromising champion… I always looked forward to his sly chuckle, his matzo-dry humor, his knowing smile.”

Abner Stein, literary agent: born Boston, Massachusetts 6 December 1938; married 1968 Annabel Roney (marriage dissolved; two daughters); died London 12 January 2011.