CJZ and ITV Studios beef up show development departments



British actor, writer and comedian Matt King, who plays Super Hans in Channel Four comedy Peep Show and had a major role in Spirited, has joined CJZ today as development executive.

King will work with the internal production and development team at the production company as well as with CJZ’s external creative partners.

Meanwhile ITV Studios Australia has promoted Micah Hewson to head of development following the appointment of Ben Ulm as head of content last week.

Anita Jacoby, managing director of ITV Studios Australia, was a senior staff member at Zapruder’s Other Films with Andrew Denton and departed after the company merged with Cordell Jigsaw two years ago.

Nick Murray, managing director and co-founder of CJZ worked with King in the 1990s when he was working and living in Australia as a comedy writer for various TV productions and said he recognised King’s talent at the time,  and has admired his work in the UK since.

As well as his cult character Super Hans, King is known for his role opposite Claudia Karvan in Spirited, which won him the ASTRA in 2011 for the Most Outstanding Performance by an actor.

Before moving to Australia with his family last month, King completed filming Paddington Bear, starring Nicole Kidman, with producer David Heyman, who produced the Harry Potter films and Academy Award winning feature film Gravity.

King said: “I’m passionate about creating original ideas and have been very fortunate to have written, produced and performed in several successful TV and film projects over the past 15 years. I have also worked with some hugely creative people and credit those people who encouraged me when I was first starting out. Nick Murray was one of these people, so to have the opportunity to work alongside him and the team at CJZ is incredibly exciting.

“I look forward to developing new projects for both the local and international markets at a time when I feel Australian television is entering an exciting new era.”

Last month Murray told Mumbrella Australian networks would be wise to invest in the development of more original television series, and comedy in particular, under the pressure of piracy.

On King joining CJZ he said: “It’s great to be working with Matt again. His skills on both sides of the camera will bring a unique perspective to our creative team and he will play a key role in our development and production projects. There are exciting times ahead in local production and real opportunities in Australian UK co-productions.”

CJZ formed when independent television production companies Cordell Jigsaw and Zapruder’s Other Films merged in 2012.

The company produces original formats in factual, factual entertainment, drama, comedy and light entertainment with shows including The Gruen series and Bondi Rescue.

ITV Studios, known as Granada Australia until 2013, is one of the biggest production and distribution companies in the UK with offices worldwide.  In Australia the company produces Paddock to Plate, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Come Dine with Me, Dancing with the Stars and Please Marry My Boy.



Hewson has been EP of development at ITV for four years and produced, created and adapted television formats at Southern Star Entertainment (Endemol) as executive producer with networks Ten, Seven and Nine, and for ITV and Sky in the UK.

At ITV he developed Paddock to Plate, River Cottage Australia, Please Marry My Boy and Big Brother Australia.

In his new role he will report to Ulm and work closely with him and other genre heads to develop innovative programming and third party opportunities with broadcasters, Jacoby said.

“I’m thrilled that Micah is stepping up to lead development for ITV Studios Australia. He has a natural talent for developing new programming concepts that are spot on trend, and that viewers gravitate to,” Jacoby said.


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