The Irish Mail on Sunday

DWTS producer branches out into dramas and film

- By Niamh Walsh GROUP SHOWBUSINE­SS EDITOR niamh.walsh@mailonsund­

DANCING with the Stars producer Larry Bass is branching out with two drama series and a major movie in the pipeline, the Irish Mail on Sunday can reveal.

In recent years, Bass’s independen­t television company, Shinawil, has been blasting out production­s largely borrowed from other formats, like Dancing With The Stars and The Voice.

These family-friendly packaged production­s have propelled him to the forefront of Irish reality TV.

But a recent raft of filings at the Companies Registrati­on Office indicate that Bass is hoping to capture a portion of the lucrative film and drama market.

He has registered a slew of separate but interconne­cted new companies in recent months.

One business is called The Miracle Club which the MoS has learned was set up to produce, film and syndicate a movie starring the acclaimed Maggie Smith and Hollywood heavyweigh­ts Kathy Bates and Laura Linney.

Shooting wrapped up a few months ago and Bass is set to release and distribute the movie worldwide in 2023. In addition, he is producing two new drama series.

The first offering, Clean Sweep, was announced with much fanfare by RTÉ and stars Monaghan actress Charlene McKenna, of Peaky Blinders and Raw fame.

The six-parter, which was apparently inspired by a true story, sees McKenna take on the role of a wife of a Garda detective, who murders a former partner.

However in a dramatic turn of events, the crime is investigat­ed by her husband.

The purchase of the show by RTÉ signals that any bad feeling over Bass quitting the RTÉ board after a six-week tenure last year, may have dissipated.

Bass said he had no other option but to resign from the board to protect his business after the renewal of his contract to make Dancing With The Stars was questioned by fellow board members.

In his resignatio­n letter to Arts Minister Catherine Martin, he said it was ‘truly a shock’ to learn that concerns were raised by board members about the contract over a potential conflict of interest as a board member.

Mr Bass resigned on September 17, last year, the day after his first board meeting, and two months after his appointmen­t.

He said in his letter that Shinawil’s renewed contract to make the programme was ‘signed off’ by RTÉ during the summer, before he joined the board.

However, both Bass and the higher ups at Montrose must have reached a détente.

In addition to The Miracle Club and Clean Sweep, Bass is also working on another drama series The Chase, which he also hopes will be shown on RTÉ.

Movie stars Hollywood heavyweigh­ts

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