'Survivor' producer will have easier access to talent
After being aggressively courted by several agencies, Mark Burnett has signed with CAA for representation in all areas.
Move comes as the “Survivor” exec producer looks to expand beyond reality TV and move into scripted series and feature film development. Longtime manager Conrad Riggs continues to rep Burnett in all areas.
Burnett took his first steps into the scripted world last fall, when he teamed with Carsey-Werner-Mandabach for a half-hour comedy about a globetrotting family. Pilot, dubbed “Are We There Yet,” is under consideration for the WB’s fall sked.
CAA has also proven adept at moving clients into new areas — helping Jerry Bruckheimer build his TV business and moving Mike Fleiss (“The Bachelor”) into features with the unscripted spring break pic “The Quest,” for example.
Burnett said inking with a tenpercentery is a key step in the evolution of his indie shingle.
“As I go into scripted TV and features, I definitely need additional representation,” Burnett told Daily Variety. “Conrad’s done a brilliant job with everything. … but it’s silly at this point to go at it alone without a major agency behind me.”
Riggs cited CAA’s “incredible roster of clients” and “deep bench” of agents as reasons for inking with the tenpercentery.
CAA partner and motion picture agent lit David O’Connor said the agency will work to exploit Burnett’s ability to weave compelling tales.
“When you look at Mark’s body of work, from ‘Survivor’ to ‘Eco-Challenge,’ the one thing that’s consistent is that he’s a consummate storyteller,” O’Connor said. “He can take that ability into any area he chooses, including scripted TV, producing movies and, hopefully, directing movies.”
CAA TV agent Michael Camacho said one of the agency’s goals with all of its clients is to “build their businesses in areas they’re not involved in full time. We think there’s a natural transition for Mark into scripted (projects.)”
Burnett remains very active on the unscripted front.
In addition to “Survivor,” which wraps its sixth installment next month, Burnett is exec producing a pair of reality skeins for NBC: “The Apprentice” and (with Ben Silverman) “The Restaurant.” He also has signed on as an exec producer on the C-W-M reality skein “Boarding House: North Shore” and remains exec producer of USA Network’s “Eco-Challenge.”
CAA’s marketing division, which has brokered a number of high-profile deals weaving sponsors into reality skeins — think CAA-repped Coke and “American Idol” — also figures to play a role now that Burnett has inked with CAA.
“I’m not just hiring them for their talent base,” he said. “I’m hiring them for their counsel and their strategizing (ability). There’s no agency out there that’s dealt more with advertiser integration than CAA.”