Lionsgate Inks Drama Pact with Tandem

Partners to produce 'Sex, Lies and Handwriting'

LONDON — Lionsgate has inked a co-venture pact with Munich-based production company Tandem Communications to develop and produce one-hour drama series.

Crime drama “Sex, Lies and Handwriting” is the first project in development, and is intended to follow a straight-to-series model similar to Tandem’s crime series “Crossing Lines,” which airs on NBC. In addition to Lionsgate and Tandem, Sea To Sky Entertainment, Lionsgate’s Canadian joint venture partner, will also be producing the project.

The series will be “a witty new take on the crime series,” according to a statement from the partners. It follows the exploits of Leslie Bold, an accomplished artist and handwriting expert — with her own newspaper column on the subject — who is unexpectedly drawn into the world of crime-solving because of her skills.

Inspired by Michelle Dresbold’s book of the same title, the drama will be written by co-executive producer Annie Brunner (“Against The Wall,” “Saving Grace”). Nancy Miller (“Against The Wall,” “Saving Grace”) is onboard as exec producer and showrunner. In addition to Tandem and Lionsgate principals, Jeff Sagansky (“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”), Sunta Izaccupa (“The Ron Clark Story”) and Chris Barrett are exec producers on the show.

“Tandem has had great success with international co-productions and we’re delighted to be in business with them, our partners at Sea To Sky and the exceptional creative and producing team assembled for ‘Sex, Lies and Handwriting,’ a series we believe has the potential to attract a broad audience around the world,” said Kevin Beggs, president, Lionsgate Television Group.

“’Sex, Lies and Handwriting,’ with its irresistible lead character, is the perfect series to start this collaboration with Lionsgate. Both companies stand for quality television productions, so we are excited to combine strengths once again. This co-venture will make for an extraordinary creative environment for key talent to work in,” said Rola Bauer, Tandem’s prexy.

Tandem, which was set up in 1999 by Bauer and Tim Halkin, with Jonas Bauer joining as a partner in 2007, was taken over by Studiocanal in 2011. Its series include Emmy-winning historical tale “The Pillars of the Earth.” Studiocanal’s backing enabled Tandem to push further into the production of one-hour series, spearheaded by “Crossing Lines,” which was created by Edward Allen Bernero (“Criminal Minds”), and stars William Fichtner, Marc Lavoine and Donald Sutherland.

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