Christina Wayne, the former AMC programming exec who shepherded the development of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” has joined Canuck indie Cineflix to launch the company’s Gotham-based Cineflix Studios arm.
Wayne has been recruited to expand the company’s operations into scripted programming. Cineflix, based in Montreal, produces a slew of unscripted shows for Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., including History’s “American Pickers” and multiple skeins for HGTV, National Geographic TV and A&E’s Bio channel.
Cineflix CEO and co-founder Glen Salzman said the company sees an opportunity to break into the scripted realm at a time when U.S. nets and studios are increasingly looking for partners to help finance and produce series.
That trend is borne out in the number of Canadian series imports that have aired in primetime on the Big Four in the past two years.
“The U.S. networks are looking for partners, and the cable networks are expanding their (original programming slots),” Salzman said. “The infrastructure of our company has grown to a point where we have a very large production machine going. We bring co-financing abilities and expertise now with Christina, who is a perfect fit for us.
“Her track record of spotting projects and talent and getting them on the air is amazing.”
Cineflix has outposts in London, Toronto and Dublin, and a growing distribution arm. The privately held company launched about 11 years ago, and has quickly grown into Canada’s largest producer of unscripted programming.
For Wayne, the chance to part-ner with a well-heeled indie was a strong draw. She launched her own shingle, Assembly Entertainment, after exiting as AMC’s senior veep of scripted series and miniseries in February 2009. She was about to begin shopping a few projects to network and cable buyers when Cineflix contacted her about the Cineflix Studios prexy post.
She’ll continue to pursue her projects under the Cineflix banner, which will allow her to hit the ground running in her new gig.
“It was the perfect time for us to come together,” Wayne said. “I really like the way (Cineflix) approaches the business. In a world of new channels constantly starting up, there’s a lot of opportunity right now.”
Wayne said her initial focus would be on comedy and drama series, as well as kidvid programming.
Her star as a programming exec rose after “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” grabbed the industry’s attention. Before joining AMC in 2005, Wayne worked as a journo and screenwriter.