Britain's ITV, production home of Masterpiece titles Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, is on a "spending spree" in the United States, according to Variety. ITV just bought a controlling stake in reality producer High Noon Entertainment (Cake Boss) for $39 million, and in December acquired 61.5 percent of Gurney Productions (Duck Dynasty). "Another U.S. buy is believed to be on the horizon as ITV Studios beefs up ITV Studios America," Variety reports.
ITV Studios also produces longtime pubcasting favorites Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Poirot.
Variety notes that Mr. Selfridge "encapsulates a key part of what ITV wants to do more of — produce inhouse U.K. hits that can sell strongly overseas. Using this strategy, ITV is building its studio business at home and abroad by careful acquisitions and organic growth." Other ITV titles in America include Hell’s Kitchen and I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!
“ITV Studios wants more shows that resonate internationally,” Kevin Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios, told the entertainment newspaper, adding, "I’m confident there will be more Mr. Selfridges."