×

Broadway Video tapping into tube-side

"SNL," "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" vets jumping into book biz

NEW YORK — The people who bring you “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien are jumping head-first into the book biz.

Broadway Video Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired a major-ity interest in TV Books LLC, publishers of TV show companion books.

As the result of a separate three-year contract that goes into effect Jan. 2, HarperCollins Publishers has signed on as exclusive distributors of the new company’s books in the U.S. and Canada.

Peter Kaufmann, founder of 2-year-old TV Books, will serve as publisher and prexy of the newly configured company. Serving as rights and business affairs director will be former Jim Henson Prods. staffer Albert Gottesman.

The transaction was brokered by Pamela Meyer’s Manhattan Studios, a Gotham-based firm specializing in strategic media investment.

“This deal really brings us to the next level. We couldn’t have asked for a better investor and partner,” Kaufmann told Daily Variety.

Broadway Video, founded in 1979 by “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, has interests in television, film and the World Wide Web. Their most recent acquisition before TV Books was the Burly Bear Cable Network, made up of 200 affiliated stations serving college communities around the country.

The company has dallied with book tie-ins to “SNL” and its characters, but now will work on extending its “myriad new television properties into book format through TV Books,” according to Broadway Video CEO Steve Shippee.

TV Books had developed a “successful niche,” Shippee said, for publishing nonfiction books from documentaries, entertainment books from network programming and books with vintage TV tie-ins.

The new company already has sev-eral projects in development, Kaufmann said. Those include: “Israel and the Arabs: The Fifty Years’ War,” based on a six-hour PBS/BBC docu-mentary; “Defending Everybody: A History of the ACLU,” tied to a Florentine Films/PBS production; and “Reagan: Rise and Decline,” due in February and based on an “American Experience” documentary from WGBH Boston.

A number of other “more entertainment-oriented” projects are in the works and will be announced next fall.

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content