Hello Sunshine, the production company founded by Reese Witherspoon, is set to shine some of its rays across the Atlantic.
The company, which has been behind HBO’s Big Little Lies, Apple TV+’s The Morning Show and Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, was last year acquired by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media in a deal valuing it at $900 million. Now it has unveiled its first international expansion with the launch of an unscripted division in the U.K. And while exact details are under wraps, Hello Sunshine’s new U.K. division is already developing its first production, a project with British network Channel 4.
Sarah Lazenby, who was formerly head of features and formats at Channel 4, where she commissioned shows including The Great British Bake Off, will oversee operations as executive vp, unscripted U.K. Lazenby, who most recently produced HBO’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, will report to Hello Sunshine’s head of unscripted Sara Rea.
“We are thrilled to expand our global mission of innovative, unscripted, female-led storytelling to the U.K.,” said Rea, who joined in 2020 when Hello Sunshine acquired her SKR Productions. “Sarah Lazenby is perfectly poised to lead the charge, as her talent, passion, and sensibility for great storytelling, couldn’t be more in sync with our mission. This is a strategic and exciting moment for us as a company as we continue building upon our trusted relationship with talent and viewers around the world.”
While Hello Sunshine may be better known for its scripted output, its unscripted output includes Netflix’s Get Organized, while it is currently producing country music talent show My Kind of Country for Apple TV+ and To Paris With Love, an unscripted romantic comedy feature for Roku.
“Hello Sunshine’s unique global brand and inspirational mission to change the way women walk through the world through storytelling is one I have admired for quite some time,” said Lazenby. “It’s a dream come true to join the talented team and I look forward to bringing the sunshine to the U.K. by creating the next generation of joyous and entertaining formats.”
Hello Sunshine isn’t the only major company making new inroads into the U.K. Earlier this year, A24 opened its first overseas office in London, poaching two top BBC execs in the process.