New World Entertainment is dramatically shifting its focus regarding TV movies and miniseries by selling 14 telefilms the company has in development to Citadel Entertainment, the parties confirmed last week.
As part of the shift, New World senior VP of movies & miniseries Karen Danaher – recruited to the company by Brandon Tartikoff less than a year ago – will follow those projects to Citadel, overseeing their production working as a senior executive with president-CEO David Ginsburg and senior VP of production & development Tom Patricia.
Terms weren’t available, but the transaction is believed to be a multimillion-dollar deal, as it includes five movies that already have received network production orders. The exact scope of Danaher’s responsibilities, beyond initially shepherding the New World projects, has yet be determined.
“This is one of the largest packages ever to pass from one company to another,” she said.
New World attributed the deal to a desire to focus its production efforts more tightly. The company’s relationship with Fox Broadcasting Co. encompasses numerous primetime commitments, and New World wants to focus on series and movie franchises that will best serve the company’s distribution apparatus.
New World will continue to produce three kinds of movies: two-hour pilots and back-door pilots; live-action Marvel Comics characters, on which the company has a multiproject commitment from Fox; and ongoing franchise movies, on the order of Viacom’s “Perry Mason” or Universal’s “Columbo” series.
By contrast, the 14 projects going to Citadel are all stand-alone telefilms, or standard movies of the week.
New World exec producer Bruce Sallan oversees series and telefilms and will continue to supervise those areas. The company recently received its first order from Fox on a Marvel title and will produce a telepic based on the “Generation X” comicbook.
Danaher, who reported to Sallan, has had her contract picked up by Citadel, which is a partnership of HBO and Anglia TV. Some of the producers still remain under contract at New World, which gives up its interest in the projects being transferred except for sequel and series rights.
Of the 14 projects, three have production orders from CBS: “The Clock Winder,” based on an Anne Tyler novel, produced by Kathy Kloves; “A Promise to Carolyn,” from producers Paul A. Kaufman and Scott Swanton; and another Kaufman project, “Co-Ed Call Girl,” starring Tori Spelling. NBC also has ordered “Knock Knock,” produced by Steven Haft and Marcia Nasatir, while Fox has picked up “Wolverines,” based on a Frederick Forsyth novel.
Also included in the package are Haft and Nasitir’s “Crime 2000” (NBC); “Match Made in Heaven,” “Sexual Addiction” and “Brentwood Gun Club” (CBS); and “Cool Breeze on the Underground” (Fox); “Mama’s Boy” (ABC), from Kaufman; Chris/Rose Prods.’ “Educating Adragon” (ABC) and “Deadly Reflection” (Fox); and “Maiden Voyage” (Fox), from producer Tony Masucci.
Patricia notes Citadel already has 90 hours of longform programming in development, so the New World deal puts the company’s slate well beyond 100 hours. Existing projects include an NBC miniseries based on a Louisa May Alcott novel.
New World says it still plans to produce four to six pics a year of the three genres outlined. The company has two drama strips ordered for the coming season: “Strange Luck,” which is on Fox’s fall lineup; and the midseason ABC hour “Second Noah.”