Hare And Tortoise, a new comedy-focused TV production company, has launched.
FremantleMedia says: "Hare And Tortoise will build on Jon and Claire's two decades of experience in comedy, entertainment, and factual to develop cross-genre projects for the UK and global markets. The new label will bring together new and established writers, performers, producers and directors in surprising new creative partnerships, creating returnable series for both traditional broadcasters and new global platforms."
Jon Rolph says: "Claire has an enviable reputation as a creative Executive Producer on some of television's biggest formats [such as Masterchef], but we both started our TV careers making a panel game in Norwich. She still has the same instinctive understanding of comedy and comedy talent as she had then. Together as Hare And Tortoise we'll be fleet of foot and robust of shell in the race to deliver the best new shows."
Claire Nosworthy adds: "Comedy is full of unlikely double acts, and as Hare And Tortoise we will be looking to foster many more great partnerships. Just as audiences do, we'll happily cross genre boundaries in search of great characters and great stories, mixing and matching scripted comedy, comedy entertainment, funny factual and light drama to create projects with humour at their heart."
FremantleMedia's Cecile Frot-Coutaz says: "Throughout the history of entertainment and business we have seen the power of a strong creative double act. The pairing of two people with very different personalities, who share the same values and ambitions and complement each other perfectly - this is exactly what we have with Jon and Claire collaborating again after so many years. We are excited to welcome Hare And Tortoise to the FremantleMedia family."
The new company has launched by announcing a 'first look deal' with top producer Gill Isles. Her recent series including Car Share, Detectorists, Man Like Mobeen and the forthcoming Idris Elba Netflix sitcom Turn Up Charlie.
Talking about this deal, Rolph says: "Gill's unmatched passion for comedy and her consummate skill as a producer make her the most sought-after in the business. She's smart, hugely experienced and naturally funny, and Claire and I are delighted she's agreed to work with us again to develop brilliant new shows".
Gill Isles comments: "Jon and Claire were the first comedy producers I ever worked with and I'm thrilled to be teaming up with them again. In the spirit of their new double act, I see myself as Schnorbitz to their Mike and Bernie Winters."
FremantleMedia says the new label is already actively investing in rights, formats and scripts from new talent and established writers. Series in development that they have announced today include:
FremantleMedia comments: "These titles join a slate that includes active script developments from new and established writers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic, and as far away as New Zealand."