Lantos, Sagansky invest in co.
Robert Lantos and Jeff Sagansky have made a strategic investment in Canada-based indie TV producer Blueprint Entertainment. The financial infusion, whose amount was unspecified, will be used to goose the company’s global expansion and increase its volume of production.The five-year-old company has so far mainly produced for U.S. and Canuck cable channels, focusing on drama series and children’s programming. With the announcement, Blueprint’s co-founder John Morayniss will assume the role of chairman-CEO, and co-founder Noreen Halpern will serve as president, overseeing development and production. “Blueprint has a unique business model and a creative strategy that dovetails with it. Under the stewardship of John Morayniss and Noreen Halpern, I believe the company will quickly evolve into a leading supplier of quality content to broadcasters everywhere,” Lantos said. Blueprint, which is privately held, said it has annual revenues of nearly $100 million. “We intend to move to the next level very quickly by substantially expanding into new arenas,” Morayniss said. He added that expansion may also mean acquiring libraries and a distribution company. Lantos founded and built Canadian film and TV company Alliance Communications, which he took public in 1993 and sold in 1998. Since then he has produced movies through his company Serendipity Point. Sagansky has held several high-level posts, including CEO of Paxson Communications, co-president of Sony Pictures Entertainment and president of CBS. Sagansky is also a lead investor in Peace Arch Entertainment, Contentfilm and Winchester Capital, and he is chairman of Elm Tree Gaming. In another development for Blueprint, FremantleMedia has snapped up two drama series produced by the company, “Love You to Death” and “The Best Years,” and will license them at April’s Mip TV market in Cannes. The former skein features “Pink Flamingos” icon John Waters in his TV series debut as the presenter of each episode’s tale of spouses who have killed their loved ones. It premieres Stateside on Court TV in the spring. “The Best Years” follows a group of friends through the ups and downs of college life. It was created and exec produced by Aaron Martin, the writer and showrunner on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” FME has worldwide distribution rights for both TV (excluding North America) and DVD (excluding Canada).