Development, consultancy and finance company Table41 will serve as an incubator for new projects across the factual, fact-ent and unscripted spectrum.

Francesca Johnson, former director of development and production at National Geographic, has announced today the launch of development, consultancy and finance company Table41.

The new agency, which will draw on Johnson’s experience in premium scripted and non-scripted development and her global network of commissioner, agent, brand and talent relationships, will serve as an incubator for new projects across the factual, fact-ent and unscripted spectrum, alongside premium factual, limited drama and documentary series. Several projects are already in Table41’s development pipeline, including soon-to-be-announced series with BossaNova Media, Atomic Television, and Dare Pictures.

Johnson worked for National Geographic for 11 years, during which time she oversaw development and worked with the London-based commissioning team on projects for the factual giant’s linear channels and Disney+, including Diana: In Her Own Words, Drain the Oceans, Inside North Korea’s Dynasty and Lost Cities. She also worked with network heads across Asia, Europe and Latin America to identifying strategic co-production opportunities for locally produced content. Her executive-producer credits include Heroes of the Sky: The Real Mighty Eighth Air Force, 9/11: Control the Skies and India From Above, a two-part series narrated by Dev Patel that won best documentary series at the Asian Academy of Creative Awards.

Most recently, Johnson served as executive vice-president of content at independently-backed Anyway Content, where she was responsible for building the start-up’s non-scripted business and driving its scripted and non-scripted development slate.

Taking a new approach to TV development and financing, Table41 will connect experienced freelance executives with genre expertise to independent companies. The agency will prioritise specific commissioner briefs and individual projects to ensure that collaborations move swiftly into execution.

In recognition of the broad requirement for flexible levels of support to the indie sector, Table41 will also offer one off project-based support, working with existing development teams across research, writing and the creation of premium pitch decks and sizzles. As a fluent Spanish and Italian speaker, Johnson is also able to negotiate in local languages to establish access to untapped characters and stories and secure co-financing from multiple territories.

Francesca Johnson said: “We all know that our business is going through tough times and that it’s never been more difficult to get creative projects off the ground. But the truth is, you don’t need to be a mega label or a super indie to get a show greenlit — you need to be flexible, efficient and connected. Development can be a real drag in isolation and this agency is about growing your “table for one”, expanding your network and creating the positive momentum needed to turn great ideas into even better shows.”