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The execs behind BBC1 prison drama Time have launched an indie that will specialise in scripted regional series.

Andrew Morrissey and Michael Parke have founded River Pictures, which will have offices in Liverpool and London.

The company is a dedicated label within BBC Studios’ scripted production division and the execs will report to BBCS president of scripted productions Mark Linsey.

Concurrently, BBCS head of continuing drama Kate Oates has stepped up to head of drama. The former Coronation Street and Emmerdale producer succeeds Priscilla Parish, who has stepped down after four years, Parish was the BBC's executive producer on Time.

Morrissey is currently BBCS drama North head of development, having previously worked with Time creator Jimmy McGovern on BBC dramas Broken, Moving On and Reg as head of development at Liverpool indie LA Productions.

Parke has worked as an executive producer for BBCS since 2018, having previously executive produced Ecosse Films dramas including ITV's He Kills Coppers and Life of Crime and Sky Atlantic’s Fleming.

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The pair have also worked on three series of RTE drama Smother and their upcoming projects include BBC3 factual drama Kidnapped and RTE crime series Blackshore.

Linsey described Morrissey and Parke as “incredibly talented storytellers who can deliver authentic, complicated stories that have impact in a way that is thought provoking and always accessible to a wide audience. ”

In a joint statement, Morrissey and Parke said that having a Liverpool base will allow them to “build on the strong creative relationships we have established in the North West when making Time and Kidnapped.” 

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