Simon Andreae’s Naked eyes genres beyond fact ent
Naked Entertainment, the indie established by former Fox and Discovery commissioner Simon Andreae, is to branch out into digital series, specialist factual and general entertainment after winning its first two factual entertainment commissions.
The Fremantle Media-backed company, set up by Andreae in September 2015, revealed last week that it had been commissioned to make Panama-set survival format Stripped And Stranded for Channel 5.
This follows its first order, 100% Hotter, which launched on 5 Star last week with 112,000 viewers (0.6%), well above the digital channel’s 88,000 (0.4%) slot average.
In addition to producing “high-impact, innovative, primetime” factual entertainment formats, Andreae said his team would now look at specialist factual and pure entertainment genres.
The company is also understood to be making two online series – The Threesome Date and Britain’s Best Boy Racers – for Channel 4’s All 4 platform. These are yet to be confirmed by either party.
Naked currently has four other series in paid development in the UK and has won a couple of “high-concept, genre-busting” series from US broadcasters.
Andreae, who ordered The Truth About Lesbian Sex when he was a C4 commissioner, said factual entertainment is going through a purple patch in the UK.
“The genre is very robust and there’s been a bit of a renaissance recently, with really big, timely ideas based on things like surveillance in society, which became Hunted, and asking whether modern man is soft, which was made as The Island With Bear Grylls. In the past, those issues might have been dealt in a one-off doc but now they can be treated as big, popular propositions,” he said.
Returning to the UK after 10 years in the US, where he was non-scripted boss at Fox and senior vice-president of development and production for the Discovery Channel, he was buoyed by commissioners trying out new ideas.
“As a legacy of the Reithian tradition, there’s an emphasis on innovation in the DNA of commissioning in the UK. That is more prominent than in the States, where TV is fundamentally about selling soap powder and filling the space between the ads,” he said.
Andreae, who ordered Naked And Afraid while at Discovery, has high hopes for Stripped And Stranded, which he pitched to C5 director of programmes Ben Frow as a title, a nod to how former CEO Dawn Airey once described the schedule.
“I want to combine the male viewers of Naked And Afraid with the female viewers of soaps and dramas. It’s not just guys beating their chest in the jungle.”
Andreae has built a business of around 30 staff, including former Fox TV Studios managing director Susie Dark as COO, former Remarkable Television, Twofour, and Electric Ray development exec Tom O’Brien as director of development and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding showrunner Mike Warner as senior executive producer.