Jones Ent. plans docu film ‘Genius’ with A&E

NEW YORK — The Jones Entertainment Group, which has produced theatricals such as “Household Saints” and John Sayles’ “The Secret of Roan Inish,” has shifted its focus to documentaries this year, signing with A&E to do a four-hour film “The Mystery of Genius.”

That’s the word from Richard Rosenberg, executive VP of Jones Entertainment, who says the company is also working on a one-hour docu on the rediscovery of the classical city of Alexandria, and is negotiating to buy a 90-minute docu portrait of the most famous correspondent of World War II, Ernie Pyle.

Jones Entertainment is a division of Jones Intercable, the eighth-largest cable operator in the U.S. Rosenberg says Jones picks up the backend rights to any docu or movie it finances because it’s trying to build up a revenue-generating library of product.

Knowledge is key

The reason for this year’s push on docus, he says, is that Jones is the owner of Knowledge TV, a 10-year-old cable network that reaches close to 30 million subscribers. Jones will not only run the docus on Knowledge TV after they make their debut on larger-circulation cable networks like A&E but also “use our programming to create educational courses in areas like history and archaeology,” says Rosenberg.

“The Mystery of Genius,” which represents Jones’ first co-production agreement with A&E, will explore the topic through separate hourlong programs devoted to Mozart, Michelangelo, Edison and Pasteur. The producer is Robert Siveson.

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