Duo sign first-look deal

Film shingle Vertigo Entertainment (“The Ring”) is pushing deeper into television, inking a first-look deal with Lionsgate Television.

Vertigo and Lionsgate will work together to develop scripted programming for both broadcast and cable. The two companies already have a feature relationship, partnering with Cruise/Wagner to producer “The Eye.”

Under owners Roy Lee and Doug Davison, Vertigo has successfully adapted a number of Asian films, including ones that became “The Departed,” “The Grudge” and “The Ring.”

“Roy and Doug have tremendous creative instincts, outstanding relationships within the industry and the proven ability to recognize, acquire and develop high-quality material with widespread appeal,” Lionsgate TV programming and production prexy Kevin Beggs said.

Lee and Davison issued a joint statement citing Lionsgate’s creative sensibility as key to their decision to do the TV deal.

Vertigo isn’t a complete stranger to TV. On the nonscripted side, company teamed with Wenner Media to produce “I’m With Rolling Stone” for MTV. Vertigo exec Gabriel Mason spearheaded that effort.

Shingle’s 2007 feature slate includes the aforementioned “The Eye”; Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig starrer “The Invasion”; Liv Tyler suspense thriller “The Strangers”; the Sarah Michelle Gellar thriller “Addicted”; and the romantic comedy “My Sassy Girl.”

Other projects in development include the Bruce Willis-Mischa Barton comedy “Assassination of a High School President” and “Confessions of Pain,” a crime thriller to be produced with Appian Way and Bill Monahan and with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star.

In addition to Showtime’s “Weeds,” Lionsgate produces the new AMC skein “Mad Men” and USA’s “The Dead Zone,” among other series.

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