EXCLUSIVE: There is a change at the top of production and distribution company Sonar Entertainment, which specializes in scripted series, miniseries and TV movies. Stuart Till has abruptly stepped down as CEO, with respected industry veteran Gene Stein tapped new CEO. I hear the changeover happened yesterday in a company meeting where Stein was introduced to the 50-person staff. As he transitions out of the CEO role, Till will return to the company’s board of directors. The hire of Stein, who will be based in Los Angeles, represents an indication Sonar intends to focus on series. “Sonar continues to strengthen its brand identity as a leading global producer and supplier of outstanding series, miniseries and television movies,” said Gabriel de Alba, Chairman, Board of Directors for Sonar Entertainment. “Gene Stein is a dynamic and inspiring executive who has the vision, the leadership skills and the relationships within the creative community to take the company to the next level.”
Till had served as CEO since the company’s 2012 rebranding from RHI Entertainment to Sonar Entertainment. Before that, he served as interim co-CEO following the 2011 departure of RHI CEO Robert Halmi Jr. There had been rumblings over the past several months about potential issues at the company under Till. I hear there had been at least one senior level production executive departure in the past few weeks.
Stein spent the past … Read More »
YouTube‘s paid content slate is getting an infusion of classic miniseries and made-for-TV films via Sonar Entertainment, which today launched new subscription channel MINIS + MOVIES. Popular small screen properties like 1989′s Emmy-winning Lonesome Dove starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall lead Sonar’s catalogue of over 500 titles viewable on the online video site starting today. The dense Sonar library is also packed with retro telefilm gems from the filmographies of Hollywood’s brightest, like Jennifer Garner’s 1999 disaster pic Aftershock: Earthquake in New York and the 1997 sorority thriller Dying to Belong with Hilary Swank, with new titles added each month. Also included in the channel’s initial launch are Merlin with Sam Neill and Isabella Rossellini, Tin Man with Zooey Deschanel, Good Fences with Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg, The Yearling with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and True Women with Angelina Jolie. Users can subscribe for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year.
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment. Read More »
Via its overall deal with Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios has made a joint venture pact with Sonar Entertainment for Fix It Men. ABC Studios will work with Sonar to set up and produce the action-suspense series created by John Glenn (Hatfields & McCoys, Eagle Eye) about a scientist and a Special Forces soldier from the post-apocalyptic future who travel back in time to prevent Armageddon. Landing in present day, the pair morph into their younger selves as they set about altering a series of seemingly random events that form the chain leading to the catastrophe. ABC Studios will handle North American distribution and Sonar will take the rest of the world, just in time for the Mip-TV market in Cannes next month.
Over the weekend, RHI Entertainment announced it had rebranded as Sonar Entertainment and appointed Stewart Till as CEO. The company also unveiled a package of new projects on hand at MIP. Today, Sonar has added action adventure series Quatermain to its development and production roster in partnership with Ecosse Films. Details are below:
CANNES, APRIL 2 – Sonar Entertainment Inc. and Ecosse Films have joined forces to develop and produce Quatermain. The new 10×60 action-adventure series is based on the classic swashbuckling stories by iconic Victorian-era author H. Rider Haggard. The announcement of the project, which is being introduced at Cannes during MIPTV, 2012, was made today by Stewart Till, CEO, Sonar Entertainment and Douglas Rae, Founder, Managing Director and Executive Producer, Ecosse Films. Rae will serve as executive producer on the project. Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle (Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal) are the writers.
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RHI Entertainment Inc. has rebranded as Sonar Entertainment Inc. and appointed Stewart Till CEO, board chairman Gabriel de Alba announced at MIPTV in Cannes. The company also unveiled a package of disaster-themed and other miniseries, regular series and and a quartet of two-hour TV movies. Following the departure of Robert Halmi Jr. last summer, Till had served as co-interim CEO with Mike Corrigan and David Salzman. Robert Halmi Sr. exited in February. Read More »