No guaranteed distrib'n, but COO hopes for active first-look deal

Artisan Television has inked a first-look deal with Fox Television Studios.

Pact calls for FTVS to have the initial crack at partnering with the Bob Cooper-led Artisan on the latter’s future output of TV movies and minis. While projects may end up on Fox-affiliated nets, there’s no guaranteed distribution.

Move comes in the wake of Artisan’s recent merger with Landscape Television. Cooper and Artisan Pictures prexy-chief operating officer David Ginsburg will work with Fox TV Studios prexy David Grant and Fox TV Pictures topper David Madden on projects.

Ginsburg said all parties hope the deal ends up being more than a passive first-look arrangement.

“We want to collaborate from the inception of an idea or the purchase or rights all the way through development so we don’t end up with a bunch of projects (FTVS) doesn’t want,” he said. “It’s a fairly comprehensive creative and financial collaboration.”

Grant said Artisan will fit “perfectly within our producer-oriented structure” at FTVS.

“Bob Cooper literally reinvented the genre for HBO, and no one combines the creative and managerial skills to run a movie business more efficiently than David Ginsburg,” Grant said. “Although the current climate for original movies is tough, over the long-term” the deal should produce results for FTVS.

FTVS and Artisan previously worked together on a pair of projects: CBS telepic “Surviving Gilligan’s Island” and upcoming FX drama “Sins of the Father.”

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