By Adam Benzine
“As producers, we take a lot of s*** from buyers that we’re not bringing them something original,” said Leftfield Pictures owner Brent Montgomery during the session. “But I get the same money for doing Pawn Stars as someone doing the eighth version of the show, so we’re not incentivized, in a way, to be the first and the best.”
Away from the panels and the stages, a raft of news emerged as companies began to ink deals and unveil exec moves.
Zig Zag Productions partnered with the publisher of The National Enquirer to make an ob doc series that will follow reporters on the U.S. gossip magazine, with execs from the UK-based indie pitching the show to networks at the Summit. The deal was one of two for Zig Zag, which also inked a deal to option Israeli candid camera format Extreme Scheme from Armoza Formats.
Elsewhere, The Naked News Network teamed up with newly formed Canadian prodco AllScreen Entertainment for a reality series going behind the scenes of the cult web network, which features women disrobing while delivering the news.
Also pairing up were Zodiak Rights, the distribution arm of Zodiak Media, and Asylum Entertainment, the LA-based indie behind Rise Up and The Kennedys. The two agreed upon a two-year development deal.
In a similar vein, Los Angeles-based prodco Collins Avenue penned an accord to add two more years to its partnership with distribution company Content Media, with a new hire joining the Dance Moms production company and details also revealed about a Nat Geo commission in the pipeline.
A&E Network also confirmed that the A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, an initiative between itself and the New York Television Festival, would be returning for a second year.
Meanwhile, on the exec front, there were developments at Thom Beers’ Original Productions, with Jeff Conroy named EVP of programming and Sarah Whalen taking the VP of programming position (both pictured below, right and left respectively).