USA Films nabs TV satire ‘Contenders’

Deal worth more than $1 mil

USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million.

Written and directed by Daniel Minahan on digital video, “Series 7” stars Brooke Smith as a reigning champion who’s eight months pregnant. Cast also includes Glenn Fitzgerald and Donna Hanover.

The film was produced by Blow Up Pictures’ Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente (“Three Seasons,” “Chuck & Buck”) and by Killer Films’ Christine Vachon (“Boys Don’t Cry”) and Katie Roumel.

Sundance nurtured

Minahan developed “Series 7: The Contenders” at the Sundance Writers Lab in Utah; he was later invited back to workshop the script at the prestigious Directors Lab. He’s in development on the biopic “Simply Halston,” which he has written and will direct with Vachon producing. The duo also collaborated on “I Shot Andy Warhol,” which Vachon produced and Minahan co-wrote and served as second-unit director.

Blow Up is the DV production division of Kliot and Vicente’s Open City Films. Other Blow Up productions include Miguel Arteta’s current Artisan Entertainment release “Chuck & Buck” and Alan Wade’s “The Pornographer,” currently in post.

Killer’s ‘Suburbia’

Killer Films, which produced “Boys Don’t Cry,” will next see the release of “Crime and Punishment in Suburbia” by United Artists this fall.

USA Films’ acquisitions and co-productions department head, senior veep Steven Raphael, brought the project in to the company along with VP Peter Kalmbach. USA Films was repped in the deal by Avy Eschenasy, exec VP of business affairs, with attorney Sue Bodine of Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein negotiating the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

More TV

  • 'Shannara Chronciles' Canceled After Two Seasons

    'Shannara Chronicles' Canceled After Two Seasons

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

  • Ignacio SerricchioBET 'Zoe Ever After' Panel

    Telemundo International Studios Unveils First Drama Series at NATPE

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

  • Black Lightning -- "LaWanda: The Book

    TV Review: 'Black Lightning' on the CW

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

  • DEADPOOL

    MPAA: Film, TV Industry Paid Out $49 Billion in 2016

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

  • J.J. Abrams Broadway

    J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Drama Series Shopped to Apple, HBO

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    '9-1-1' Renewed for Season 2 at Fox

    USA Films has picked up North American rights to the satirical drama “Series 7: The Contenders,” in which the highest-rated program on television is one that selects people at random to kill one another for the top cash prize. Sources peg the deal price at just north of $1 million. Written and directed by Daniel […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content