Condé Nast Entertainment has signed a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television for scripted series, to be developed and produced by 20th TV on the broadcast side and by its division Fox 21 in cable. This marks the first such studio arrangement for CNÉ, which made an entrance into scripted development last season with a couple of projects based on properties from its library, a drama take on Street & Smith pulp series The Avenger at The CW with Neal Baer and a crime drama at CBS based on a Glamour article with Eva Longoria producing. The partnership reunites veteran TV executives, 20th TV Chairman and CEO Dana Walden and CNÉ President Dawn Ostroff who have known each other for two decades. “Dawn’s one of the most talented executives I’ve ever worked with and is also a close friend,” Walden said. “Creating a business opportunity together now that she’s at Condé Nast– a brand we’ve long admired– was a huge priority for us both.” Added the studio’s President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis, “The publications of Condé Nast are famous for telling some of the most compelling stories imaginable.” Fox 21 President Bert Salke referred to the Condé Nast brands as being “of provocative, groundbreaking storytelling.”
So far, CNÉ has made a mark in TV on the unscripted side with three series on the air, Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery, The Fashion Fund on Ovation and Geeks Who Drink on Syfy. That area … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Condé Nast Entertainment have partnered on the drama feature See No Evil, an adaptation of a Wired magazine article published in April. Kurt Wimmer has been set to turn the article into a fictionalized drama based on Alfred Anaya, a car stereo installer in California who became in demand because of ability to design traps, or secret compartments that often are used to conceal everything from drugs to cash and weapons.
The article was written by Brendan I. Koerner and the film will be produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald with Marc Resteghini exec producing. CNE’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler also will produce, in the latest deal for a movie and TV property based on product from the Condé Nast magazine stable. Wimmer, whose credits include Salt and Law Abiding Citizen, most recently scripted Point Break for Alcon, the remake that will star Gerard Butler, and the Charlize Theron starrer Agent 13 for Universal.
Once Anaya’s skill was discovered by the DEA, the feds tried to turn him as an informant. Terrified that informing on his clientele would put his family in danger, Anaya refused. He was arrested and charged as a conspirator in a drug ring that spanned from California to Kansas.
Parkes said the twists and turns of Anaya’s clash with DEA was a strong match for Wimmer in what he said was “this remarkable story of car hacking, drug smuggling, and what happens when you go toe-to-toe with the American justice system from written word to the big screen.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Joe LaBracio, co-head of UTA’s alternative TV department, is leaving the agency for a top executive job at Condé Nast Entertainment. LaBracio has been named EVP, alternative programming and will oversee the development and production of unscripted programming for the company, reporting to Condé Nast Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff. LaBracio, who starts on Jan. 13, succeeds Michael Klein, who recently moved to a new role as head of creative for the company’s digital channels. “Joe has worked with the team at UTA to build an impressive alternative television department,” said Ostroff. “I am delighted that he will be bringing his keen sense of resonant programming and extensive experience in unscripted television development and production to CNÉ.” This marks LaBracio’s return to the executive ranks after holding a position at CBS where he oversaw series production on The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Rock Star, among others, before segueing to agenting. For the past 15 months, since the departure of Michael Camacho in October 2012, LaBracio co-headed UTA alternative department with partner Brett Hansen who will now run it solo, reporting to managing director Jay Sures. Before his stint at UTA, where he helped package more than a 100 series, LaBracio was an agent at CAA. He started his TV career on ABC News’ Nightline as Ted Koppel’s assistant.
What used to be shrugged off as “getting your bell rung” has become a national medical and legal issue. Now GQ Digital Network is set to premiere an eight-episode documentary series that looks at retired NFL players who struggle with complications of concussions suffered during their playing days. Casualties Of The Gridiron, from Condé Nast Entertainment and GQ, comes on the heels of last month’s PBS Frontline docu on the hot-button topic. Here’s a look at the series that premieres November 18:
Related: Ridley Scott Pic Looks At Effects Of Concussions On NFL Players
EXCLUSIVE: Conde Nast Entertainment‘s EVP of alternative programming Michael Klein is transitioning to a new role at the company. He has been named EVP, program and content strategy, digital channels, overseeing program development, production and content strategy for the Conde Nast-branded digital channels. Klein, who reports to CNE president Dawn Ostroff, replaces Robert Green, who will be leaving CNE after a seven-month stint. There are currently six CN digital channels, with the number expected to go up by 2-3 by the end of the year and another 7 next year until all 20 brands in the CN publishing portfolio has its own digital extension. Klein, who has been at CNE since April 2012, has shepherded the company’s reality television development, setting up such projects as Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery and The Fashion Fund on the Ovation Network. He will now use his unscripted background (Klein was previously SVP of programming and development at the Sundance Channel), to guide CNE’s expansion from short to longer-form original digital programming. Search is underway for a replacement.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is making a deal with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to script the feature on John McAfee, which John Requa and Glenn Ficarra hope to direct and produce with Conde Nast Entertainment, McAfee is the eccentric Silicon Valley entrepreneur who sold multiple estates and his possessions to move to the Belize jungle, arm and fund his own private police force, and who was arrested for suspicion of complicity in the death of a neighbor. That neighbor had complained about McAfee’s barking dogs, which the entrepreneur said subsequently were fed poison and died. The neighbor was found shortly after, killed by an execution-style bullet to the head. The movie is based on John McAfee’s Last Stand, a deliciously detailed article for Wired Magazine written by Joshua Davis which the studio bought previously for Requa and Ficarra, who helmed Crazy, Stupid, Love for Warner Bros. Davis will also be a producer.
McAfee got rich by creating anti-virus software for computers and marketing it cleverly enough that it widely became the program of choice for many corporations. The tone of the movie is essentially how an entrepreneur and former drug user whose fortune was built selling fear and paranoia, sold his estates and toys to build the equivalent of an armed compound in the Belize jungle and became consumed by the same kind of paranoia that others were out to get him.
The project was set up through Conde Nast Entertainment. While film head Jeremy Steckler and CNE president Dawn Ostroff normally use back-list and current magazine articles to serve as movie ideas, here they heard about the McAfee story before the murder and got Wired to finance Davis’ trip to Belize to shadow the entrepreneur for three weeks because they felt it might make a good movie. Davis came back with the goods — from stories about McAfee’s teenaged girlfriend trying to murder and rob him (he didn’t send her away), to photos of the tattooed McAfee holding a gun to his own head. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Condé Nast Entertainment has named development executive Gina Marcheschi as VP Scripted Television Series. Marcheschi will oversee the development and management of CNE’s scripted TV projects. She will be based in the company’s Los Angeles office, reporting to CNE president Dawn Ostroff. Marcheschi joins CNE’s EVP Jeremy Steckler, who oversees motion pictures, and EVP Michael Klein, who is in charge of alternative TV programming. “Gina has an extensive and entrepreneurial background in both television and film production,” said Ostroff. “Her knowledge and expertise in developing projects for both domestic and international television audiences makes her an invaluable asset to the CNE as we build our television business.” Read More »
Conde Nast Entertainment continues to expand its digital business, naming Whitney Hill SVP business development and strategy. The announcement was made today by Fred Santarpia, EVP and chief digital officer, Conde Nast Entertainment, to whom she will report. In her new role, Hill will be responsible for developing and managing CNE’s digital content and distribution business, including the expansion of the recently launched original digital video programming based on the publisher’s prestige magazine brands. She begins her new job immediately.