Image Group moves into prod’n, taps Schlossman

Exec slides into production/development veep slot

The Image Group, which controls seven TV studios in midtown Manhattan, has started to produce nonfiction programming for cable networks like Discovery Channel and Learning Channel, and has tapped Michael Schlossman VP of production and development of Image Group Entertainment.

The first two projects under Schlossman will be the three-hour documentary “ESU: Emergency Services Unit,” hosted by Timothy Dalton, for the Learning Channel, and two nonfiction projects for Discovery, “Skip Tracers” and “Broken Arrow.” Schlossman says the long-term goals of his division are to “expand into the making of independent feature films and movies of the week as well as limited series for television.”

Image’s first theatrical movie, “The Farmhouse,” with Blythe Danner, premiered at the Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, earlier this month. The producer of the movie, Fred Berner, is negotiating with Schlossman to create an overall joint venture to produce more theatricals.

Schlossman says Image will try to hold on to the worldwide rights to its documentary programs, even if that strategy means the company will have to produce some of the shows on a deficit of as much as 25% of the budget.

Formerly director of program development and acquisitions with Tapestry Intl., an N.Y.-based TV production and distribution company, Schlossman has a background in international law and finance. Image has signed Tapestry to do the international syndication for “ESU,” he says. Reporting to Schlossman is John Cadwell, formerly director of co-productions and sales for BBC Worldwide.

Schlossman and Cadwell will journey to the Mip TV convention in Cannes next month to lock up some international money for such non-fiction development projects as:

  • “MedTek,” which goes behind the scenes of the NYC medical examiner’s office;

  • “Negative Gs,” focusing on the day-to-day lives of test pilots;

  • and “The Sanctuary,” a report on the gay and lesbian resort areas of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines.

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