EXCLUSIVE: Prospect Park’s multi-million dollar legal battle with ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live isn’t the only courtroom drama the production company is now facing. Co-Founder Jeff Kwatinetz has filed a complaint against the company and ABRY Senior Equity IV, L.P., ABRY Investment Partnership, L.P., and ABRY Senior Equity Co-Investment Fund IV. The producer and talent manager is seeking a declaratory judgment over non-compete clauses in a December 31, 2012 employment agreement he signed with Prospect Park when the Boston-based investors came on board late last year. Long story short, Kwatinetz wants a judge to decide if the “unenforceable non-competition and non-solicitation provision” would actually prevented him from working for another company for 5 years and if Prospect and ABRY could get an injunction to force him to work for them for 5 years if he attempted to leave. “In addition, the Guarantee contains what is essentially a $5,000,000 liquidated damages penalty for a ‘breach’ of the unenforceable non-competition provision and employment term requirements in the Agreement,” the 10-claim complaint filed on November 21 in LA Superior Court adds (read it here).
EXCLUSIVE: In what would be his first TV starring vehicle, Ice Cube is set to topline and executive produce Eye For An Eye, a drama series project in development at FX. The project hails from Ice Cube’s company Cube Vision and Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park, which developed the idea together. Eye For An Eye centers on a complex man, played by Ice Cube, who is a veteran paramedic. After too many years of leaving the scenes of violent crimes with a victim struggling to live in the back of his ambulance, he snaps and starts going eye for an eye. When his thirst for revenge proves addictive, his personal life spirals out of control as he tries to reconcile it with his newfound life as a vigilante. Cube and his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez are executive producing with Kwatinetz and Prospect Park’s TV partner Josh Barry. A search is underway for a writer to pen the script. In TV, Ice Cube is executive producing the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? based on his 2005 movie. UTA-repped Ice Cube recurs on the series, which has a 100-episode order. On the film side, he is working with New Line on a new installment in his hit Friday franchise. He next stars in Rampart and 21 Jump Street. Both Ice Cube and Prospect Park have a relationship at FX: Ice Cube …
EXCLUSIVE: These days, Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park is known mostly for its headline-making deal to continue to produce ABC’s canceled soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. But the new daytime player has quietly been building a primetime presence since the company’s 2008 launch and is now making a push to expand it, with former ABC exec Josh Barry recently joining Paul Frank as a partner in the TV division. Prospect Park has set up seven series projects at networks and studios around town, all executive produced by Kwatinetz, Barry, Frank and his father, Prospect Park partner Rich Frank, as well as the projects’ writers. So far, the company has had a perfect pilot-to-series batting average, with both of its pilots, USA Network’s Royal Pains and FX’s Wilfred, going to series that have become breakout hits for their networks. Wilfred was renewed for a second season last month, while Royal Pains was picked up for Season 4 yesterday.
One of Prospect Park’s new projects reunites the company with FX and Wilfred co-creator and star Jason Gann. GILF, which will be written by Gann, centers on an adopted man who, at the urging of his wife, seeks out his biological mother, discovers she’s a former porn star, invites her to move in, and forces his family to deal with the unpredictable consequences. Here is a list of Prospect Park’s other projects in development:
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has put in development Princess of Whales, a drama project from 24 and The Kennedys writer-producer Stephen Kronish and Cold Case star-turned-producer Kathryn Morris. The project is based on the true story of Marcia Hartman and follows the exploits of one of Las Vegas’ most successful casino hostesses, whose job is to bring in the super-high rollers and make them spend as much as possible. But her lavish lifestyle and life-of-the-party personality reveal a dark side that threatens to destroy her. Morris and her development executive at Revival House Josh Gold saw an article about Hartman, tracked her down and secured the rights to her story. “She is the most fascinating, complex female character we had seen,” said Morris, who has no plans to act on the potential series. She took the idea to seasoned showrunner Kronish, who came on board to help develop the project and to write the script. Kronish, Morris and Gold are executive producing with Prospect Park’s Paul Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank. Fox TV Studios is producing.
Radar Partners’ Stratton Sclavos is joining the new online network formed by Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank’s Prospect Park. This is the management, media and production company that recently forged a multi-year, multi-platform licensing agreement with Disney/ABC Domestic Television Group to continue production of All My Children and One Life to Live after their ABC runs end. Sclavos was formerly chairman of the board, president and CEO of VeriSign, where he started as one of its first employees in 1995 and helped grow the company into an international corporation with $1.6B in revenue. Sclavos will advise the network on technology, infrastructure and overall content delivery — the key components to delivering those new soap opera properties to loyal viewers. Azure Capital’s Mike Kwatinetz, who was also named to the network’s board, will provide the company with strategic guidance.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is negotiating to finance and distribute Chrome and Paint, a gritty Boyz N’ The Hood-style drama that Ice Cube will direct and star in, based on a script he co-wrote with Eva Vives. The film is a drama about the custom car culture of South Central Los Angeles. Cube will produce with his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez.
Cube, who directed the 2010 Oakland Raiders documentary Straight Outta L.A. for ESPN, hasn’t directed a narrative feature since 1998′s The Players Club, which he also wrote. In Chrome and Paint, Cube uses the subculture of tricked out Mercedes, BMW and Low Rider cars to frame a drama about the temptation to place materialism above all else. The film has elements of Saturday Night Fever and American Graffiti. Disney’s interest came out of a general meeting with Cube. Disney exec Louanne Brickhouse, herself a car enthusiast, took an interest in the project as did production president Sean Bailey. Universal also showed interest in the film but has a similarly-themed project percolating.
To make it work for Disney, Cube will bring it in as a PG-13, even though he originally co-wrote it as an R-rated feature. The plan is to shoot by the end of summer after Vives does some rewrite while Cube stars in 21 Jump Street (starring with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, with Johnny Depp doing a cameo) for Sony Pictures. Cube, who most recently wrapped the Oren Moverman-directed …
Ice Cube is negotiating to join Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street. He is also preparing to shop Chrome and Paint, a gritty Boyz N’ The Hood-style drama that Cube wrote with Eva Vives as a starring and directing vehicle that focuses on custom car culture of South Central Los Angeles. In 21 Jump Street, Cube will play the precinct captain role originated by Steven Williams in the TV series that launched the career of Johnny Depp. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing the pic for Sony Pictures. Cube livens up the cast, but if they are planning to replicate the series plot about undercover cops that infiltrate schools, I’m still waiting to see if they cast anybody that remotely looks like they might be proofed in a bar. Depp was a baby-faced 24 when he started the series: Tatum is 30 and Hill is 27. Shooting begins in late April and Neal Moritz is producing.
Cube will jump into that film after he finishes a role in the New Line romancer New Year’s Eve, matched with Hilary Swank. Cube, who directed the 2010 Oakland Raiders documentary Straight Outta L.A. for ESPN, hasn’t directed a narrative feature since 1998′s The Players Club, which he also wrote. In Chrome and Paint, Cube uses the subculture of tricked out Mercedes, BMW and Low Rider cars to frame a drama about the temptation to place materialism above all else. Cube’s …