ITV has acquired a majority stake in Italian independent producer Cattleya, the company behind international hit TV dramas Gomorrah and Romanzo Criminale.
In addition to its TV hits, the firm has produced over 70 films, including Don’t Tell which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, Suburra, Siberian Education, I’m Not Scared and domestic box office hits Benvenuti al Sud, Benvenuti al Nord and Il Principe Abusivo.
However, despite its big screen success, Cattleya’s TV drama production is forecast to contribute around two-thirds of its revenue by 2019.
As well as the forthcoming third season of the award-winning Gomorrah, which has been sold to over 70 countries and will be broadcast on Sky Italy starting in November, Cattleya has also produced Netflix’s first Italian original series Suburra, which focuses on politics, the Vatican and organized crime in present-day Rome.
Upcoming commissions include Zero Zero Zero, which focuses on the global cocaine trade and comes from the creative team behind Gomorrah, including writers Leonardo Fasoli and Roberto Saviano, together with director Stefano Sollima.
As part of the deal, Cattleya will retain full creative and production autonomy, and ITV Studios’ distribution arm, ITV Global Entertainment, will distribute Cattleya TV series, where rights are available.
Maria Kyriacou, President of ITV Studios International, said: “Cattleya has built on its feature film experience and expertise to achieve fantastic television production series with the international hits Gomorrah and Romanzo Criminale, and now Suburra.
Riccardo Tozzi, Cattleya’s founder and co-CEO, said: “We are thrilled to join ITV Studios.
“Its strategy of investing in European and international high-profile production companies and TV content is perfectly in line with the ever-growing demand for high-end drama series.
“It also corresponds to the direction in which Cattleya has been headed over the last several years, to create scripted drama that will present the best of Italian and European talent to the world.
“We could not be happier to team up with such a formidable company, led by such expert executives as Julian Bellamy and Maria Kyriacou.”