Youngest Media, the UK entertainment producer behind MTV’s Game of Clones and NBC’s Small Fortune, is shutting down after seven years.
The company was founded in 2016 by former Endemol Shine executives Lucas Church and David Flynn, and counted Elisabeth Murdoch among its backers until 2021.
Accountancy company Menzies LLP has been appointed to close down Youngest as part of a “voluntary” liquidation over the coming weeks.
Flynn and Church said: “We thought we’d managed to weather the storm of the pandemic but the impact on cashflow and creative pipeline really hit us last year and a few key decisions on shows didn’t go our way, so sadly we’ve closed down Youngest.
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“We’re so proud of all our shows over the years both here and around the world, from Bafta- and Broadcast Award-nominated Moneybags to a straight-to-series US Network commission with Small Fortune. We’d like to thank everyone who has been part of Youngest, who made all this possible and turned our company into such a fun place to work.”
The producer’s most recently published accounts for 2020 showed it had liabilities of £3.4M, including a near-£3M loan from a shareholder that was due to be repaid in May last year. The accounts did not specify which of Youngest’s shareholders advanced the loan.
Youngest, named after Flynn and Church being the lastborn in their families, launched with an ambition to create entertainment shows that could work online or in gaming.
Game of Clones, a dating show in which singletons design their perfect partner and then date “clones” of their vision, started life on Channel 4’s youth channel E4. It was remade on MTV in America in 2019.
Small Fortune was another format that ran for one season in the U.S. after first launching on ITV in the UK. Youngest also created Channel 4’s Craig Charles-fronted daytime game show Moneybags, which last week won an award from Broadcast, the UK trade title.
Youngest signed a first-look distribution deal with BBC Studios in 2021 and, in 2019, partnered with French producer Thierry Lachkar to launch a division in France.
Murdoch stepped away as a shareholder in November 2021.
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