BBC Studios inks first look deal with Uplands TV

BBC Studios has secured a first-look deal with the award-winning production company Uplands TV, founded by David Olusoga and Mike Smith.

Published: 23 February 2021
Mike and David create television that is both accessible to watch and thought-provoking. This makes their work fresh, unique and inclusive, which is why we’re so glad that their new projects will become part of the BBC Studios catalogue.”
— Mark Linsey, Chief Creative Officer, BBC Studios

Negotiated through BBC Studios’ Content Partnerships team, the three-year deal offers the BBC’s commercial arm a first look on Uplands’ development slate, with a particular focus on premium history, documentaries and landmark series.

Founded in 2017 by Mike Smith and David Olusoga, Uplands TV specialises in bringing to life history, current affairs, specialist factual and travel & adventure programmes and making these shows relevant and accessible to audiences of all backgrounds. Its catalogue includes critically-acclaimed titles such as The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files (BBC TWO); The Unremembered (C4) and Alt History (BBC iPlayer) as well as upcoming landmark history titles The Forgotten Empire (BBC TWO and PBS) and One Thousand Years of Slavery (Channel 5/Smithsonian).

Mark Linsey, BBC Studios' Chief Creative Officer, said: “Mike and David create television that is both accessible to watch and thought-provoking. They are experts in story-telling, using their background in history and programme-making to engage and enlighten audiences, even on difficult subject matters. This makes their work fresh, unique and inclusive, which is why we’re so glad that their new projects will become part of the BBC Studios catalogue.”

Mike Smith and David Olusoga, Co-founders of Uplands TV added: “Our ambition in founding Uplands TV was to create television that brought a diverse range of factual stories and history to life which would appeal to a range of audiences in Britain and across the world. We know that Mark and his team share our passion and that BBC Studios – with its global footprint - can help us to realise that ambition. We can’t wait to see where our next projects take us.”

Uplands’ co-founder Mike Smith has produced over a hundred hours of factual TV for broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel Four and Sky. His credits include: Simon Reeve's award winning Sacred Rivers; David Lammy’s revelatory C4 single, The Unremembered; and Simon Sebag Montefiore's four series in Rome, Vienna, Spain and Istanbul. Professor David Olusoga is a historian, broadcaster and film-maker, whose most recent TV series include Black and British: A Forgotten History; A House Through Time and the BAFTA-winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners all for BBC TWO. He is the author of six books and a columnist for The Observer.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Chris Charlton, Head of Corporate Communications, BBC Studios: chris.charlton@bbc.com, Tel: 07720 598 007

 

About BBC Studios

BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2500 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Amazon and China Mobile, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles. To the BBC, BBC Studios contributes both cash dividends and funds for programme-making, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences.

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