With NATPE days away, one newcomer in the Big Easy will make a run at the big boys.
Filmtown Entertainment, whose indie production company produced the features “State and Main” and “Red Letters,” has launched a syndication arm with four high-profile projects available at the market.
The company has inked Rena Mero (the WWF femme wrestling champ formerly known as Sable) into action hour “The Consultants,” joining Jeff Speakman (“The Perfect Weapon”) and former WBC Light Heavyweight champ Jeremy Williams in one of the new shows for fall.
Other series are reality-based: “Homicide Files,” “Live From the Comedy Store” and “Conspiracy” will be pitched to stations.
Filling in the gaps
“As far as competing with the big boys, it’s all about the quality of the TV show,” said Filmtown CEO Alan Mruvka, whose company created “Pacific Blue” for USA Network. “If you have a good product, the buyers will come.
“As far as our position in the syndication ranks, every time all these companies merge, there’s a wave of smaller companies that come along and fill in the gaps. It happens in every business.”
All four projects will be exec produced by Mruvka, company president Joey Nittolo and “Baywatch” co-creator Michael Berk. Reiko Bradley will handle international sales for Filmtown at NATPE while Ladd Vance will serve as senior VP of television production.
P.I. kung fu
“Consultants,” set in L.A. and Vegas, follows the lives of a team of investigative consultants skilled in martial arts. Mruvka said they want to take this action hour to the next level, adding some punch through “cool toys and elements” and bringing some potential breakout action stars to the table.
“I believe Rena is ready to explode on the mainstream,” he said. “She has the Pamela Lee vibe and needed an outlet to support all the press she has been getting even since she left the WWF.”
“Homicide Files” will be sold as a half-hour reality-based strip. It’s a co-production between Filmtown and Peter Zazuli, producer of “L.A.P.D. Life on the Street.” Each half-hour will focus on three homicide investigations, two unsolved and one solved.
“Live From the Comedy Store” will feature a well-known comedian introducing up-and-coming talent in an hour format. Vintage footage of vets such as Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman and Robin Williams will be incorporated into the mix. The show is co-exec produced by Filmtown and the Comedy Store’s Mitzi Shore and Peter Shore.
“Conspiracy” is a weekly hour that explores collusions of the past and present. The series will be hosted by journos who’ll investigate various conspiracy theories involving subjects ranging from the death of Jim Morrison to the crash of Flight 800 to O.J. Simpson.