ITV buys stake in studio behind gun and duck shows

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BROADCASTING giant ITV has bought a controlling stake in television company Gurney Productions – but has vowed that its best-known series, American Guns, will not be making a comeback.

ITV paid $40 million (£24.7m) for a 61.5 per cent stake in the production outfit as part of its strategy to grow its studio operations.

The Discovery Channel had already said that American Guns would not be renewed for a further series, but denied that the decision was related to this month’s massacre of 20 children and six adults in Newton, Connecticut.

ITV reiterated the decision after buying its stake in Gurney, which also makes Duck Dynasty, a programme about a family who make duck-calling whistles that has become a cable television sensation in the United States.

About 6.5 million viewers tuned in for the final episode of the programme’s second series, setting a record for cable network A&E.

The deal is the latest in a string of takeovers for ITV, which bought So
Productions from television presenter Graham Norton for £26m.