Andrew Newman to leave C4 for Objective
Channel 4 head of entertainment and comedy Andrew Newman is to move back into the indie sector after more than 10 years as a commissioner to join Objective Productions.
Newman takes on the new role of chief creative officer and will work alongside chief executive Andrew O’Connor, who has extended his commitment to the All3Media-owned company.
His departure comes as C4 starts to look to plug the gap that will be left in 2011 by axing Big Brother, with entertainment in particular set to occupy a sizeable chunk of the £50m budget and up to 200 hours up for grabs.
The broadcaster has three commissioners within its comedy and entertainment department but is likely to hunt for a like-for-like replacement to kickstart the commissioning process for 2011.
O’Connor said: “Having Andrew on board will give the company an even greater creative talent bank to work alongside me. I have watched Andrew’s career develop over the last 15 years and, as the man who played a key creative role in some of the most interesting and innovative TV of the last decade from Brass Eye to Ali G to setting up E4 to running comedy and entertainment at Channel 4, he is the ideal person to help me lead the company’s creative direction.”
Newman’s new role reflects a decade-long professional relationship with Objective in which Newman has commissioned shows ranging from Five’s Monkey Magic to C4 stalwarts such as Derren Brown’s shows, Balls of Steel and Star Stories. He has also stood by Peep Show despite low ratings, commissioning series three to six.
Newman also commissioned the pilot of Objective’s game show The Cube, but had to pass on a full series for budget reasons, paving the way for ITV1 to pick it up. Objective is remaking the format for Fox in the US, which is likely to take up much of O’Connor’s focus over the coming months.
Newman initially joined C4 as deputy entertainment commissioning editor in 1998 after stints as a specialist researcher on Brass Eye and producer of the first series of The 11 O’Clock Show, both at Talkback Thames.
He subsequently rose to become head of programmes at the nascent E4 before jumping ship with Kevin Lygo to Five as controller of entertainment.
He followed Lygo back to C4 at the end of 2003 to become head of entertainment, adding comedy to his remit in a departmental restructure in 2006.
Newman’s other credits at C4 include The Priory, The Adam and Joe Show, The IT Crowd, Free Agents and last year’s ratings hit Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor….
He got his break in TV working on Planet 24’s C4 shows The Big Breakfast and The Word.
Objective was started by O’Connor and co-managing director Michael Vine in 1996. It became part of the All3Media group in 2007.