STV Studios commissioned by Channel 5 to make new farming series
STV Studios has been commissioned to produce a new series helping family farms transform into successful new businesses.
The commission for Channel 5 marks the latest success for the studios arm of the Glasgow-based broadcaster, which recently rebranded the division to STV Studios from STV Productions.
Unveiling details of the latest deal, the group noted that many British farmers were “struggling to make ends meet” in the face of rising overheads, disease, changing weather patterns and the impact of Covid-19.
The new series – with the working title Our Family Farm Rescue – promises to highlight “just how creative British farmers need to become when faced with such uncertainty”.
Set in four “idyllic” locations across the UK, the episodes will see a group of farmers being given expert advice as they change their farms and set off in a new direction.
Production on the series has already begun. It will be executive produced by Rosy Marshall-McCrae and the commissioning editor for Channel 5 is Daniel Pearl.
Craig Hunter, creative director of factual at STV Studios, said: “Farmers have been diversifying for generations, but it would seem there’s even more reason to transform their businesses and change direction now.
“We’ve been encouraged by the response we’ve had from farms of all different sizes and ages. There’s certainly no end to the list of opportunities available, which should make for a very compelling series.”
Pearl added: “Our viewers love our farming shows and this new series will take a look at modern day farming life focusing on the many challenges they face today. Farmers across the UK are transforming their businesses and we hope to help these British family farms thrive again.”
Earlier this month, STV said it had seen a recovery in advertising revenues while adding another producer to its growing studios portfolio after the pandemic dragged the group to a first-half loss.
Releasing results for the six months to the end of June, the broadcaster said it had seen its highest audience growth ever, up 12 per cent, with an all-time viewing share of 19.2 per cent. That growth had continued as lockdown measures were relaxed, it added.
While total advertising revenue slumped 20 per cent as the industry was battered by the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the group pointed to an improving picture. Year-on-year declines of 33 per cent in June and 7 per cent in July were followed by a modest 1 per cent gain last month.
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