Walter Iuzzolino, Jo McGrath and Jason Thorp, the three founders and creative team behind the successful global drama company Walter Presents, are launching a new drama venture, called Eagle Eye Drama.
The new company will focus on producing English language drama series inspired by hit foreign language shows they have discovered and championed on Walter Presents channels around the world.
Eagle Eye Drama has the full backing of Channel 4, who will be investing through its Indie Growth Fund and taking a minority stake in the new company.
Eagle Eye Drama has several dramas on their development slate and have already won two commissions from two broadcasters, projects which they will announce early next year. Alongside the new venture the trio will continue to work across Walter Presents, as the successful global drama streaming service now in seven countries, continues to roll out into new territories.
Walter Iuzzolino, CEO of Eagle Eye Drama: “Walter Presents is uniquely placed to spot drama series with the potential to become stand out brands on the international stage and to identify the European creatives with the talent to produce beautifully crafted stories. The next logical step for us is to bring together the best drama ideas from around the world and the most inspiring production talent who can re-imagine them for a mainstream English-speaking audience.”
Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4: “Walter’s passion, expertise and understanding of tastes in global TV drama is unrivalled, demonstrated by the huge success of Walter Presents. We’re very excited to extend our successful partnership with Walter, Jo and Jason as they expand into production to bring foreign TV gems even closer to British audiences through this innovative venture.”
About Walter Presents
Walter Presents launched in January 2016 in the UK as a video-on-demand service, founded by Jason Thorp, Walter Iuzzolino and Jo McGrath. Dedicated to showcasing award winning foreign language drama, the service is named after its curator, Walter Iuzzolino, a passionate drama fan. In March 2017, Walter Presents launched as an SVOD platform in the US, with the New York Times hailing it as a “chic TV boutique with a foreign accent.” In November 2017, Walter Presents launched in Australia through pay-TV service Foxtel and in Italy September 2018, its first roll-out in mainland Europe, on Discovery’s Nove, Giallo and Dplay channels. In October 2018 Walter Presents partnered with PBS Distribution in the US, to make premium foreign language drama available on PBS Masterpiece on the Amazon Prime Video channel. Additionally, select top-tier titles chosen by PBS are also broadcast on PBS stations and streaming on PBS Passport, a digital member benefit available through local stations. In February 2019 Walter Presents increased its US distribution further launching on Comcast Xfinity X1 and later in June Walter Presents launched on the Roku Channel. In April this year Walter Presents teamed up with Medialaan to make the service available to Flemish audiences on their newly launched digital channel VTM GO. In October 2019 Walter Presents joined forces with S4C to make its dramas available in Welsh.
About Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund
Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund provides additional support to the UK independent creative sector by investing in UK-based SMEs, taking minority stakes to help them to grow their business to the next stage. It has made 16 investments since its launch in 2014 and following several successful exits, currently has a diverse investment portfolio including Eleven film, Firecrest Films, Five Mile Films, Lightbox, Parable, Spelthorne Community Television, True Vision Yorkshire, Two Rivers Media, Voltage TV and Whisper Films. Led by Head of Fund, Caroline Murphy, the Fund team will be based in Channel 4’s new National HQ in Leeds from the new year.