You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shaftesbury signs first-look deal with ABC

Canuck shingle to work with Alphabet and both import, export product

Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production.

Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway from north to south. In reality, programming could be imported from the U.S. to Canada, or developed simultaneously in both countries, a favored strategy for Shaftesbury.

“We have had a great amount of fun finding the northern-based talent in L.A., and the southern talent that’s passionate about a story that hasn’t been able to get out yet,” Mazza said. (Shingle had recently set sci-fi drama “Weird Desk” at ABC for summer, but the net shelved the series for the time being, placing Canuck crime drama “Motive” on the summer lineup instead.)

When it comes to tone, the co-heads mentioned that while dramas are fairly easy to import to American auds, laffers can prove challenging, since comedic sensibilities differ in the two countries.

Nevertheless, Shaftesbury has plans to bring Canadian comedies Stateside. Shingle just wrapped production on a half-hour presentation for Bravo Canada that features Fred Willard. Pair anticipates bringing the project to the American market next.

Both Mazza and Murphy joined Shaftesbury from Cookie Jar Entertainment. Before that, Mazza logged over a decade at Paramount TV and Murphy worked at Eastside Entertainment, a part of 20th Century Fox TV.

“We understand the U.S. objectives, sensibilities and issues,” Mazza said. “We do that while also offering the ability to take advantage of having a Canadian production partner.”

Duo noted their ability to pair, say, an American writer with a Canadian director, or easily lens a Stateside project in the wallet-friendly Great White North.

“We see it as an opportunity to put more money on the screen,” Mazza stated. “We want to do shows for less money, but not less quality.”

More TV

  • BuzzFeed logo

    Netflix Teams With BuzzFeed for Docu-Series About BuzzFeed News Reporters

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • Bret Easton Ellis' 'Less Than Zero'

    Bret Easton Ellis' 'Less Than Zero' in Development as Hulu Series

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • PBS logo

    PBS SoCal, KCETLink Agree to Merge

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • Sky Withdraws Recommendation of Fox Takeover

    Sky Withdraws Recommendation of Fox Takeover After Comcast Offer

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • viacom logo

    International TV Growth, Paramount Gains Power Viacom Q2 Earnings

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • A view of the headquarter of

    Comcast Makes Formal $31 Billion Offer for Sky

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

  • Rod Henwood Joins 'The Night Manager'

    Zodiak and Channel 4 Alum Rod Henwood Joins 'The Night Manager' Producer The Ink Factory

    Canadian shingle Shaftesbury Films has inked a first-look deal with ABC, offering the Alphabet a flexible, cost-effective approach to development and production. Tom Mazza, who co-heads the shingle’s Stateside arm with Maggie Murphy, told Variety there is often a perception that in Stateside output deals with Canuck companies, content is heading on a one-way highway […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content