Jobs Under Threat At ‘Scared Of The Dark’ & ‘Come Dine With Me’ Producer MultiStory Media

TV

EXCLUSIVE: Jobs are under threat at ITV Studios-backed Scared of the Dark and Come Dine With Me producer MultiStory Media as the indie kickstarts a formal consultation process.

Deadline understands a handful of the producer’s circa-80 staff could be made redundant as part of the process that started last week. If there are layoffs, the number leaving will be in the single figures, we understand.

A MultiStory spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have entered into formal consultation with colleagues and are supporting them during this time. As you can imagine, it would be inappropriate to share any further details at this stage, and as such, we will not be making any further comment.”

The news comes several months after Channel 4 abruptly canceled MultiStory’s high-profile reboot of former Sky reality series Four Weddings.

The ITV Studios-backed company rebranded from Shiver around four years ago to reflect a broader content offering and has since produced competition series such as Channel 4’s Scared of the Dark, BBC Three’s Project Icon and iconic long-running returner Come Dine With Me, along with docs including Kate Garraway’s Life Stories and Waco Untold: The British Stories, both for ITV. The company is run by Tim Carter, who also oversees ITV Studios stablemate Twofour, and has bases in London, Manchester and Cardiff.

Scared of the Dark is MultiStory’s most high-profile series of late but is yet to be renewed by Channel 4, although the Danny Dyer-hosted show in which celebrities have to live in the dark and compete in challenges for a week accrued solid ratings and was well received by critics.

MultiStory was dealt a blow earlier this year when Channel 4 abruptly axed Four Weddings after it had been greenlit, a rare move for a broadcaster that had the industry speculating over the state of the network’s finances. The cancelation has been seen by figures in the indie sector as something of a catalyst for a tricky few months for Channel 4, which has been hard hit by the broader commissioning slowdown.

The commissioning slowdown has impacted across-the-board in the UK and layoffs are expected at other companies over the coming months. A recent Bectu poll found that three-quarters of below-the-line UK freelancers are currently without a job and the unscripted world occupied by the likes of MultiStory has especially felt the pain. Indie trade body Pact boss John McVay recently forecast a “tough” full-year 2023 and “shaky” 2024 for the sector as it slowly recovers from the global recession.

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