SYCO ENTERTAINMENT

SIMON COWELL

Co-owner

Syco Entertainment last year sealed a three-album deal with its biggest U.K. stars, wrapped its first scripted feature film, prepped its first West End theater production and started a banner for niche TV programs. Not bad for a year’s work. While the U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” was losing viewers at a steady clip, his London-based enterprise was growing at an impressive pace. Cowell produced One Direction’s “This Is Us” film, which grossed $39.7 million outside the United States, and signed a deal to keep the boy band in the Syco fold for another few years. “One Chance,” the Cowell-produced biopic of Paul Potts, the opera singer who won “Britain’s Got Talent,” made $1.6 million in its opening weekend in the United Kingdom and is poised for a Feb. 7 premiere in the United States. Cowell screened the film for Taylor Swift; she delivered the end-title song for the film, which was nominated for a Golden Globe. The company’s “Britain’s Got Talent” will return to ITV in 2014. Syco’s expansion into theater begins with previews on Feb. 27 of the Harry Hill-penned show “I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical” at the London Palladium. Syco also launched Over the Top Productions as a second development pipeline for TV formats. —Phil Gallo