Marsh, HBO ink 1st-look deal

Former DeMann Entertainment film and TV veep Sherry Marsh has entered into a first-look deal with HBO Independent Prods. covering features and television.

Marsh’s arrangement with one of the production arms of pay-cable giant HBO is primarily for series TV, but Mann said she also will develop feature projects. To date, HIP has not produced any features, but features have been a part of HIP’s long-term plans since its inception.

Marsh will continue her business as a personal manager, representing Charles S. Dutton (“Roc”) and comedian Bobby Slayton. Marsh said she hopes to expand her roster of management clients while developing her business as a producer.

HIP produces the “Roc” series, starring Dutton, which airs on Fox Broadcasting. In addition, HBO gave HIP a six-episode commitment for a new series now entitled “Rondo” (previously “Shelton Avenue”), on which Dutton serves as exec producer.

Marsh has been with DeMann Entertainment, whose principal, Freddy DeMann, is Madonna’s manager, for more than five years.

She served as exec producer of the TNT telefilm “Crazy From the Heart” when she was with DeMann.

At present, Marsh has several TV and feature films in development, including “Point of Betrayal,” with Dutton, Marsh and actor Dan Martin attached to produce. Dutton also will star in the film. There is no distributor yet.

Marsh also is developing a TV comedy called “Performance Grounds” with HIP. Producer Tamara Wells is attached to that project.

HIP president Chris Albrecht confirmed Marsh’s deal with the production company, but he said it was premature to discuss the relationship further. HIP previously had a similar first-look arrangement with Elsboy Entertainment.

Five months ago, HIP became part of the company’s original programming department headed by senior VP Bridget Potter, following a shifting of responsibilities (Daily Variety, April 15). The consolidation reflected the company’s commitment that HIP become a more significant programming supplier.

With its growth as a pay-cable network slowing in the face of increased competition, HBO has identified programming as a business in which it intends to expand.

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