Jim Robinson and Mark Kenny have launched new TV production company Great Island. Photo: OC Photography

Great friends launch television company

A new TV production company, launched in Cork yesterday, said it is developing long-form TV drama as well as a number of animation series and unscripted formats.

Great Island was founded by Mark Kenny and Jim Robinson in 2020 with Shemas Eivers appointed as Chairman of the Board in January of this year.

Their medium-term plan is to increase the number of people directly employed by Great Island to 20 while there will be additional production jobs created yearly.

The company currently has 10 projects on its development slate, 4 of which are market-ready to pitch for production. Great Island will produce these TV series in Cork and the greater Munster region.

With their current concentration on a number of scripted drama series they have employed a new Head of Drama Development, Amadeo Nikoli who has experience in European lead co-productions and is a graduate of the Netflix Masters Programme in Drama Development.

CEO Mark Kenny who produced and created a number of popular TV shows in the Caribbean, said there is huge potential in Cork: “Cork is an untapped market full of talented writers, actors and creatives and we really want to bring that to not only an Irish audience but a global market. The locations in Cork are ideal for TV production and in the main have previously been unexploited.

“There is such a varied landscape with a vibrant cosmopolitan city location as well as rural, coastal and mountainous regions. It really has it all. The value of an individual project could be over €1 million per episode and it is our intention to maximise this spend in the Cork region.”

Mark and his colleague Jim, who met in school, are also looking for an opportunity to open a large-scale TV production studio in Cork.

In the meantime, they have secured a studio space in the Marina Commercial Park for smaller scale production needs.