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TV3 Announces its Preferred Soap Partners
03 Mar 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
Irish company Element Pictures and UK-based Company Pictures have been confirmed as TV3’s preferred partners for a new soap which will arrive in 2015. The soap is to be a multi-million euro investment, funded from a number of sources including TV3, Element and section 481, and will create between 80 and 120 new jobs in Ireland.

TV3 has sent a statement of intent to Element Pictures and Company Pictures to enter into an exclusive negotiation period with the intention of producing and launching a new soap on TV3 in 2015. All parties will now move forward to the next phase of negotiations where all areas of the production are to be worked through.

Element Pictures, which is jointly run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, has offices in Dublin and London, and is most notable for successful movie productions like ‘The Guard’, ‘What Richard Did’ and ‘Garage’. TV show credits include the Gabriel Byrne series ‘Quirke’ and the upcoming ‘Charlie’ for RTE. The company is currently working on ‘The Lobster’, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. Element also distribute films, operate an online video on demand platform called volta.ie, and own the Light House Cinema in Smithfield.

Company Pictures is best known for British TV shows such as ‘Skins’ and ‘Shameless’. The company is directed by John Yorke, previously the Controller of Drama Production at the BBC and Head of Drama at Channel 4. He was executive producer on a number of TV series including ‘Inspector George Gently’, ‘Moonfleet’, ‘London Irish’ and ‘Eastenders’.

TV3 first expressed an interest in creating a new soap to the industry last August at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. It formally began its soap tender process by issuing an official request for soap proposal to the industry on 1st October 2013.

Eighteen production companies from the UK and Ireland were long-listed before a shortlist of six was later announced. The shortlist comprised of Lime Pictures, Parallel Films, Samson Films and Newman Street, Touchpaper (Zodiak) and One Productions. Element and Company then emerged as the stations preferred choice for the new venture.

Production for TV3’s new soap will begin this summer with a TX date set for early 2015. TV3 will broadcast 104 episodes per year, looking at a twice weekly primetime slot to be confirmed.

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