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Trend Media signs deal with Sony TV

Shingle plans to submit mini episodes as network pitches

Sony Pictures Television has signed a first-look deal with entrepreneurial start-up Trend Media.

Trend Media partners Rani Aliahmad and Rob Shalhoub plan to roll out 16 potential TV series over the next two years. Most projects will be comedies, but drama and unscripted fare will also be in the mix.

The business plan to is create a five-minute episode of a proposed show and then use that mini episode as a pitch to the networks. Both Aliahmad and Shalhoub believe that having a network exec actually visualizing the concept of a show — as compared to a verbal pitch — would increase their chances of making a deal.

“That’s our model,” said Shalhoub, “to give the studio and network an idea of what the show looks and feels like. We see ourselves as show creators and incubators.”

If the proposed show isn’t sold to a net, those previously created webisodes used during the pitch meetings can have their own life on the Web via sites such as FunnyOrDie.com.

Trend Media’s first project was laffer “Homeland Insecurity,” an ensemble workplace comedy set at airport security. Script was bought by CBS, but the show arrived late at the net to be considered for this year’s pilot season.

Shalhoub was previously VP of acquisitions for Avalon Entertainment and Aliahmad comes from a venture capitalist background. He also co-produced feature film “Operation Endgame,” which couldn’t find a distributor and was a DVD release last year.

Trend Media is repped by CAA.