BBC Studios has created a new scripted production label called River Pictures to strengthen its position as a global studio that brings British storytelling to UK and international audiences. It is led by Andrew Morrissey and Michael Parke.
BBC Studios says the decision to create River Pictures continues its strategy of backing the best creative talent. Morrissey and Parke have a record of producing award winning and globally successful series in their roles as drama executive producers at BBC Studios. This includes both series of Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA winning series ‘Time’ and all three series of the RTE hit ‘Smother’.
In 2024 they have two big commissions coming to screen: the Irish crime series ‘Blackshore’ for RTE and the factual drama ‘Kidnapped’ for BBC Three. Kidnapped tells the story of Chloe Ayling, a British model who was abducted in Italy in 2017 and faced disbelief and cynicism from media and public before her captors were finally jailed.
The label will be part of BBC Studios’ scripted production division. Morrissey and Parke will report into Mark Linsey, President of Scripted Productions at BBC Studios. The new outfit opens its doors for business later this year.
River Pictures will have offices in both Liverpool and London, and one of its key remits will be to continue to bring strong regional voices to screen. “Having a base in Liverpool, as well as London, will allow us to build on the strong creative relationships we have established in the North West when making ‘Time’ and ‘Kidnapped’,” Morrissey and Parke said of the locations.
Andrew Morrissey and Michael Parke say: “We’re hugely excited for this new chapter and the commitment to making bold, ambitious, and characterful drama in an environment that is creatively supportive.”
Linsey comments: “Andrew and Michael are two incredibly talented storytellers who can deliver authentic, complicated stories that have impact in a way that is thought provoking and always accessible to a wide audience. Aside from their current productions, they have an exciting slate of titles -- I cannot wait to see those coming to fruition under their new label.”
Photo: Michael Parke (left) Andrew Morrissey.