Legendary Entertainment Acquires Asylum Entertainment

Producer of documentaries for ESPN's "30 for 30" and mini-series "The Kennedys" to continue to operate as a separate company

Legendary Entertainment has acquired Asylum Entertainment, a producer of scripted and non-scripted TV programming, including the mini-series “The Kennedys.”

Asylum will continue to operate as a separate company, reporting to Bruce Rosenblum, president of Legendary Television and Digital Media.

In addition to “The Kennedys,” Asylum has produced the telepic “Ring of Fire,” starring Jewel. But it’s mainly known for producing unscripted fare like “Beverly Hills Pawn,” “Addicted,” Fox Sports’ “Beyond the Glory” and three “30 for 30” documentaries for ESPN Films, including “The Price of Gold” that will air in January.

However, the Legendary deal will now enable Asylum, founded in 2003, to expand further into non-scripted fare, sports and other genres as it develops projects for multiple platforms.

Next year, the company will release its first film, “Small Time,” written and directed by “24” co-creator Joel Surnow. It’s currently producing the feature-length documentary “Happy Valley,” about the sexual abuse scandal that rocked Penn State University and its football team.

“This is an incredible deal that allows Asylum to scale our existing business beyond what we could have imagined,” said Steve Michaels, president and CEO of Asylum and Jonathan Koch, president and chief creative officer in a joint statement. Both n ow report to Rosenblum. “In terms of our programming philosophies and the audiences we’re trying to build and serve, Legendary is a perfect match.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Legendary chief Thomas Tull announced the deal at UBS’ 41st annual Global Media & Communications Conference in New York on Monday.

“This is an exciting and significant acquisition for Legendary which confirms our commitment to building a global multi-dimensional television business,” Rosenblum said. “Asylum’s terrific track-record, relationships and current television content gives Legendary a base to expand and quickly diversify our television business.”

Deal follows last week’s announcement that Legendary TV’s division brokered a multi-year deal with Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld’s Red Hour Films to develop and produce exclusive content for both TV and digital platforms.

Pact was the first major deal for Rosenblum, the former head of Warner Bros. Television, who became Legendary’s TV chief this summer.

SEE ALSO: Legendary TV Lands Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films in First Major Producing Pact

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'Carnival

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'Carnival Row' Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Amazon drops the first official trailer for “Carnival Row,” starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. DATES August 1 will see the premiere of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop,” which follows divorced couple Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa as they figure out their relationship as co-parents and business partners. In the 18-episode season, the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    What 'The Office' Shifting Platforms Means for Netflix (Column)

    The most important television show of this unusual moment may just be one whose last new episode aired in 2013. “The Office” was, in its first life in the U.S., a beloved workplace comedy (based on a British series) that ran for nine seasons on NBC. In its protracted afterlife, though, it was known to [...]

  • Adam Scott Calls Out Mitch McConnell's

    Adam Scott Calls Out Mitch McConnell's Social Media Team for Using His Image on Twitter

    Adam Scott took to social media on Wednesday to tell Mitch McConnell’s reps not to use his image after the politician’s social media team tweeted a “Parks and Recreation” gif featuring Scott. “Dear Mitch McConnell & all those representing him, please refrain from using my image in support of anything but your own stunning [and] [...]

  • Riz Ahmed

    'Lives Are Quite Literally at Stake': Riz Ahmed on Seeing More Muslims On Screen

    Art can provoke feeling, but its impact has limitations in the face of legal and systemic oppression, said Riz Ahmed, the activist and actor known for “The OA,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “The Night Of,” onstage at the CAA Amplify conference in Ojai on Tuesday, calling for the high-powered industry execs, talent, [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Discovery Faces Backlash From Unscripted Producers After Shift in Series Payment Process

    Discovery Inc. is facing a backlash from the unscripted production community following a shift in the cable giant’s protocol for paying for programming. During the past year, Discovery has implemented a new system that calls for the company to pay producers for shows after all episodes and related material for a given season have been [...]

  • "The Curse of Cleopatra - Parts

    'Blood & Treasure' Renewed for Season 2 at CBS

    The CBS summer adventure series “Blood & Treasure” has been renewed for a second season. In the series, Danny McNamara (Matt Barr) is a former FBI agent specializing in stolen arts and antiquities. Lexi Vaziri (Sofia Pernas) is a resourceful art thief who is haunted by the tragic loss of her father, which she blames [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content