New York-based MCN the Orchard has cut a deal to fund production of its first TV series, “The Jamz,” a workplace comedy set at a Chicago radio station.
The project is based on the 2014 New York Television Festival official selection of the same name. It marks the first production effort to come from the NYTV fest’s production arm that was launched last year. “Jamz” will be shopped to TV and digital buyers after production on an undisclosed number of episodes is completed.
The concept was created by Jim Kozyra and Chris Petlak, who will be series regulars, writers and co-executive producers on the TV series. Ted Tremper will direct, with Kathy Najimy, David Pasquesi and Michael Patrick Thornton rounding out the ensemble cast.
Orchard is committing to financing a prospective TV series on the heels of several feature film pickups out of the Sundance film festival, including “The Overnight,” starring Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott, and “Digging for Fire,” directed by Joe Swanberg.
The pact for “Jamz” stemmed from the larger partnership that Orchard set with the New York Television Festival last year.
“Partnering up with the New York Television Festival and discovering ‘The Jamz’ was just the beginning. Since then, the number of TV and digital video networks demanding credible, entertaining original content has exponentially grown, as has the future potential for this amazing, inspired show,” said Paul Davidson, Orchard’s senior VP of film and TV.
“Each year, more and more artists from Chicago like Jim and Chris submit to New York Television Festival, and are given opportunities to both showcase their work and make connections with networks, studios and distributors like the Orchard,” said Terence Gray, NYTV Festival founder and exec director.
Orchard was founded in 1997 as a distribution outlet for alternative music and indie artists. It expanded into film, TV and advertising a decade ago.
Pictured: Kathy Najimy