Sundance show shines on ‘Iconoclasts’

Redford to exec produce reality skein

NEW YORK — The Sundance Channel has commissioned its largest-scale original production to date, “Iconoclasts,” a six-hour limited series that will profile “tastemakers, rule breakers and ground shakers” in a number of creative fields.

Sundance founder Robert Redford is an exec producer of the series, a co-production of Sundance, Conde Nast Media Group and Grey Goose Entertainment.

@Radical.Media, which will do the physical production, plans to depart from the standard filmed biography. “Iconoclasts” will feature two principals in each hour drawn from the ranks of, among others, performers, directors, architects, fashion designers, chefs and philosophers.

One of the two will choose the second person, whom they admire (preferably in a different career), and “find out the passion point and inspiration in the life and work of the subject,” said Laura Michalchyshyn, exe VP of programming and marketing for Sundance Channel. No specific people have signed up yet for “Iconoclasts,” which will premiere on the network’s primetime schedule in November.

Not just talking heads

Michalchyshyn declined to discuss the production cost, but said, “This won’t be just talking heads. We’ll travel a lot, and there’ll be plenty of location shooting.”

Jon Kamen of @Radical.Media will be co-exec producer, along with Michael Davies (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and Chris Moore (“Project Greenlight”).

“We want to tell stories” in each episode, said Michalchyshyn, “with a reveal at the end of the hour” that will add weight to the portrait.

She said Sundance will draw on the resources of its two parent companies, Viacom and NBC Universal, to help promote the series on networks ranging from CBS and NBC to USA, Bravo and VH1. There’ll also be a heavy schedule of promotional inserts in Conde Nast publications such as Vanity Fair, she said.