TV companies to create mega-indie

On the eve of this month’s L.A. Screenings TV market, ShineReveille and Media Rights Capital have joined forces, instantly creating a mega-indie among international distributors.

Under the new partnership, ShineReveille Intl. will handle global sales (except in the U.S.) for all MRC product, in addition to ShineReveille programming. As a result, the combined group said it will come to market with more scripted broadcast fare than any other independent group.

Shine Reveille Intl. prexy Chris Grant will handle sales for the joint venture. Grant said the partnership was a good fit, matching MRC’s success in lining up scripted fare with ShineReveille’s focus on nonscripted programming.

“We’ve been fortunate to do so well in the unscripted space as quickly as we have,” Grant said. “We look at what MRC has done on the scripted side, which is something we had not been able to access up until this point. It’s a business we’ve wanted to be in.”

MRC is coming off its first development season with several projects in the works — or already with firm commitments — at the nets, including ABC’s “The Goode Family,” HBO’s “The Life and Time of Tim,” Lifetime’s “Rita Rocks” and Fox’s “Outnumbered.”

ShineReveille, meanwhile, reps programs such as NBC’s “The Listener,” Fox’s “The Moment of Truth” and NBC’s “American Gladiators.”

Both sides said the fit also made sense because of similar programming and talent philosophies. At MRC, scribes and producers are also program owners — and are involved in all decisionmaking, down to where their series are eventually sold.

“Obviously we needed to make a decision on how we would distribute our shows outside of the United States,” said MRC TV prexy Keith Samples. “We looked at different ways to go at it and came back to the idea, why not try to make something work with people we agree with philosophically?”

Despite their combined size, Grant and Samples said they plan to maintain an independent ethos in their operation.

“We’re keeping that boutique feel even when we have a scale of product that is a force,” Grant said. “We’re an independent major but sticking to that indie philosophy. It’s a much leaner operation.”

Grant and Samples said the joint venture wasn’t a precursor for a full-fledged merger or acquisition between the two companies — but they also didn’t completely dismiss the notion.

“It’s not impossible, it’s not possible,” Grant said. “It’s two incredible companies working together that are like-minded in how they do business. Where that goes, I don’t know I anyone knows. We’re focused right now on selling this content at the May Screenings, and we’re making sure the creators who went into business with MRC are treated as first-class, first-tier clients.”

Grant added that ShineReveille Intl. isn’t looking to strike any more deals with indie shingles similar to the MRC pact.

“He’s got his plate pretty full at the moment,” Samples said.

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