New Line Television is ready to jump into primetime, inking a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television to create and produce network series.
As part of the two-year deal, New Line will develop half-hour comedies, hourlong dramas and specials for the major broadcast webs. New Line has generally focused on producing series for cable and syndication, such as “Mortal Kombat.”
New Line Television prexy Bob Friedman and Warner Bros. Television topper Peter Roth made the announcement Thursday.
As Time Warner corporate siblings, New Line and Warner Bros. will invoke some good old-fashioned vertical integration by giving New Line access to Warner Bros.’ talent roster. New deal will also utilize New Line’s first-look deals with talent such as Ben Stiller and producers such as Trilogy Entertainment.
Insiders compared the deal to WBTV’s pod agreement with Tollin/Robbins Entertainment, adding that WBTV will continue to seek closer relationships with all Time Warner-owned entities.
‘An integrated relationship’
“Through this new pact, New Line Television and Warner Bros. Television will take advantage of many unique resources that each company brings to the table,” Friedman said. “We have a solid roster of creative talent, a rich library of films and a close, integrated relationship with our film operations that will enhance the partnership.”
Beyond “Mortal Kombat,” New Line TV is also producing the new sci-fi action hour “Matthew Black” for the Sci Fi Channel and is developing an animated version of the theatrical film “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
Studio’s past series include the animated versions of “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber.”
Independent projects, too
In addition to the new push into primetime, New Line execs say the studio will continue to develop projects for cable and syndication independent of WBTV.
WBTV topper Peter Roth said he was “thrilled to be in business with New Line Television. They have demonstrated a remarkable ability to work with unique talent and have an outstanding track record for producing distinctive, well-crafted product.”
Working with Friedman and Roth to solidify the new deal are New Line TV’s Laura Armstrong, exec VP of development and production, and Steve Pearlman, exec VP of development at Warner Bros.