ITV Buys Simon Pegg, Nick Frost's 'Big Talk' in $30 Million Deal
Big Talk has turned out to be a hugely successful operation.
ITV has purchased Big Talk - the production company part owned by Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright - for $12.5 million, which could rise to $30 million depending on performance.
Founded in 1995, Big Talk is responsible for British hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, as well as Pegg, Frost and Wright's new movie The World's End.
BBC Worldwide owns 25% of the company and stands to make a potential £7.5 million from the deal. According to the Guardian, the deal was prompted by the expiry of Big Talk's five-year deal with the BBC's commercial.
It is speculated that ITV fended off competition from Time Warner, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, Entertainment One and Shine to land the production company, which has also made comedies Friday Night Dinners, Rev, Him & Her, The Job Lot and the Daniel Radcliffe drama A Young Doctor's Notebook.
Kevin Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios, said: "Great comedy is an important part of the genre mix for broadcasters around the world and it's fantastic that Big Talk is joining us.
"They have a brilliant track record in creating channel-defining, returning scripted comedy and drama across many different channels, and they are also developing some fantastic new shows that have the potential to travel internationally."
A BBC Worldwide spokesman said: "We've enjoyed a successful and productive five years with Kenton, Matthew, Nira and the hugely creative team at Big Talk. Although we've now sold our 25% shareholding in the business, we're delighted that we'll continue to work with them through our global distribution rights to Big Talk's back catalogue and any future UK series based on those shows."
The World's End, about a group of old school pals who reunite to conquer their town's infamous pub crawl, is out in all good cinemas now. And some rubbish ones too.
Simon Pegg At The World's End Premiere
Edgar Wright Owns Part of 'Big Talk