Lionsgate has inked an overall television deal with producing team Mark Harris and David Shumsky, who specialize in the unscripted space and are co-creators of Fox’s upcoming competition series “Kicking & Screaming,” Variety has learned.
Under the new pact, the duo will develop new series and formats for Lionsgate’s alternative division through their production company Ohana Pictures. Lionsgate will have exclusive rights to all content produced by Harris and Shumsky’s Ohana banner, in addition to first-call on any scripted development.
“Kicking & Screaming,” recently reported by Variety, is co-created by the pair and Matt Kunitz, who is currently under and overall deal with Lionsgate. The reality competition, which is set to debut in 2016 with eight episodes, marks the first series order under Harris and Shumsky’s new deal.
At Lionsgate, Harris and Shumsky will work closely with the company’s exclusive production partners, including Kunitz’s Pulse Creative, Adam DiVello’s Done and Done Productions, Dave Caplan’s Trooper Entertainment, Eli Frankel’s Rogue Atlas Productions and Jonathan Karsh’s Shiny Objects Entertainment, among others.
“Mark and David are spectacular producers, and come to us with a range of bold, fresh concepts to develop and fertile worlds to build,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of alternative programming at Lionsgate Television. “We are delighted to have this creative duo at Lionsgate Television in an exclusive role, and look to them to help the studio accelerate its momentum and expand further in the unscripted arena.”
Harris and Shumsky commented, “We are excited to be cementing our relationship with Lionsgate Television. The company’s success is tied to its visionary leadership and we look forward to working directly with Jen O’Connell and Brian Tannenbaum, who both have a keen sense of the market and a special knack for working with creatives. We anticipate continued success creating new, innovative projects for the Lionsgate alternative group.”
Shumsky’s credits include “Last Comic Standing,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Real World” and “Project Runway.” He was previously vice president of development for Kunitz at FremantleMedia North America. Prior to partnering with Shumsky for their Ohana Pictures banner, Harris had worked in the film industry with his work screening at Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, SXSW and more festivals.
The pact is a sign of Lionsgate’s growing unscripted space, which currently is home to Freeform’s “Monica the Medium,” E!’s “Christina Milian: Turned Up” and more.
Harris and Shumsky are repped by WME.