Typhoon blows to Fox TV

Scripted and reality shows to tap into younger aud

HOLLYWOOD — Fox TV Studios has inked a first-look production deal with Typhoon Entertainment, the shingle founded by Jeff Bowler (“Driven”) and Bill MacDonald (“Rome”).

Typhoon was established by former Foglight Entertainment partners Bowler and MacDonald. Bowler, who founded Foglight in 2002, exec produces segs for VH1 bio series “Driven.” Macdonald is exec producing the upcoming HBO epic “Rome.” He joined Foglight last year (Daily Variety, Nov. 6).

For FTVS, Typhoon has set up the reality series “I’m in the…” at VH1. Show sends people to participate in the media of their choice such as movies, TV shows, rodeos and music videos. Company just completed production on the pilot presentation, in which a young woman was cast as an extra in the Denzel Washington feature “Man on Fire.”

The development pipeline also includes Typhoon’s first scripted project, “The Negotiator,” a one-hour drama described as a procedural show that takes off right before a crime is committed and backtracks to the beginning of the day; and an unscripted series that will send a handful of middle-aged adults back to school.

Meanwhile, Bowler and MacDonald will co-produce several existing projects with remaining Foglight partner Gregg Backer, who will continue to work under the Foglight banner. Co-prods include the MTV original movie about Napster founder Shawn Fanning and “Courting Anna,” a reality series with Universal Television centered on tennis star Anna Kournikova.

“We realized we wanted to work with people who were connected with the younger-skewing networks like VH1 and MTV and Spike because we didn’t have access to that world,” said David Martin, Fox TV Studios exec VP of alternative productions. “Typhoon has a proven history producing shows for those markets, so they were very attractive to us.”

Bowler said: “Fox TV Studios was a good fit for us because we’re a young company that’s growing fast. It feels much better to have their infrastructure and brand to lean on. Having (FTVS topper) David Grant and David Martin on your side, it’s a lot easier to get things going.”

Separately, Typhoon is developing the New Regency action feature “Lucky Strike” with Tony Scott directing, and “Payoff,” which is being co-produced by Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films.

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