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Epix greenlights ‘Tough Trade’

Drama is network's first original series pilot

Epix, the nascent pay cabler backed by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, has greenlit its first original series pilot, a drama from Lionsgate TV to be exec produced by “Weeds” maven Jenji Kohan.

“Tough Trade” is described as a look at three generations of a dysfunctional famous family in country music. Series was created by Chris Offutt, novelist and scribe on Lionsgate-produced “Weeds.” Pilot is skedded to begin lensing in Nashville in late summer for a possible series launch next year.

Skein was developed by Furst Films through the shingle’s first-look deal with Lionsgate. Brothers Sean and Bryan Furst will exec produce the pilot along with Kohan and Offutt.

The partners behind Epix recently detailed plans for the premium movie service to launch as a broadband on-demand service in May followed by a linear pay channel debut in October. But there’s been no word to date on cable or satellite carriage agreements. “Tough Trade” was unveiled Tuesday by Mark Greenberg, prexy of Epix parent company Studio 3 Networks, and Lionsgate TV prez Kevin Beggs.

“This is the first of what will be many pieces of original programming” for Epix, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told Daily Variety.

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