Halfire-CORE, CORE Media Group’s scripted production venture with veteran Canadian producer Noreen Halpern‘s Halfire Entertainment banner, has closed a deal with NBC. Under the 3-for-1 agreement, Halfire-CORE will develop three lower budget drama projects for NBC, one of which is expected to go to series. No concepts or writers for the projects have been identified yet, but the producers are expected to begin the process shortly.
The pact illustrates Halfire-CORE’s strategy of entering the scripted primetime space by bypassing the traditional pilot cycle and going with a straight-to-series model instead. It also extends on NBC’s efforts in the lower-cost drama arena where the network has been probably the most active broadcast network, experimenting with different templates and partners, including Gaumont (Hannibal) and Georgeville TV (Crossbones). I hear the Halfire-CORE deal came out of Halpern’s existing relationships with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and scheduling chief Jeff Bader, with whom Halpern worked at ABC on Rookie Blue, one of several series she shepherded in her previous role as head of scripted for Entertainment One. Graboff, of course, also has a relationship with Greenblatt, with whom he worked for almost a year before leaving to head CORE, and with NBC where he spend more than a decade.
This is Halfire-CORE’s second scripted project set up at a US network since the company’s launch in March. It also has event series Billy The Kid in development at Fox. The company is eyeing a mix of different ways for financing and producing its scripted shows, including doing them as Canadian content, international co-productions or filming in U.S. states with big tax incentives that would allow Halfire-CORE to keep the price point low so they can offer the series to networks for lower license fee.
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