Granada America has signed an acquisition deal with producers Jaffe-Braunstein (“Elvis”), creating a new venture to produce longforms and limited-run series.
Howard Braunstein will handle the day-to-day operation of the new arrangement, which will operate under the Granada America umbrella and go by the name Jaffe Braunstein Entertainment.
Granada America CEO David Gyngell said the arrangement with Jaffe Braunstein is the first of what the company hopes will be several acquisitions as Granada America — the U.S. production arm of U.K.-based ITV — steps up its operations.
“We’re looking for more partnerships, both in scripted and nonscripted,” Gyngell said. “We want to be in the content business.”
Beyond new programming, the alliance will be tapped to exploit titles from ITV’s library.
Granada is no stranger to the TV movie biz, having produced TNT’s “The Ron Clark Story,” the top-rated cable movie of 2006 in key demos. But Gyngell said the company was looking to bring on some seasoned talent to build its scripted business — particularly in the longform side.
“Partnering up with individuals with such pedigree in a tough part of the marketplace — the TV movie business — seemed like the smart thing to do,” he said. Deal also brings Granada America back into the series game, although Gyngell said the company is more interested in limited-run skeins (such as six or 13 episodes). Besides TV movies, Granada has focused mostly on reality series domestically in recent years; company is behind shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Nanny 911” and “Celebrity Fit Club.”
“We have an appetite to do limited scripted series,” Gyngell said. “We’re not so naive to think we want to take on the major studios from a volume perspective. But by partnering with these guys, it puts us on an equal footing of expertise.”
Braunstein and partner Michael Jaffe earned Emmy noms for “Elvis,” while their NBC earthquake mini “10.5” earned topnotch ratings. The duo were also behind the Meryl Streep starrer “First Do No Harm,” the Susan Sarandon longform “Ice Bound” and “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific,” starring Glenn Close.
Jaffe and Braunstein were also producers on the A&E series “100 Centre Street” and behind telepic “The Rosa Parks Story,” which earned an Emmy nomination for Angela Bassett.
“We have had such a long and successful relationship with Granada that a more formal venture made perfect strategic sense for both of us and Michael and I,” Braunstein said.