Steven Spielberg’s TV Company Folded Into Amblin Partners But Maintains Autonomy

The launch of the Amblin Partners venture between Steven Spielberg and Participant Media, Reliance and Entertainment One means a change in the way the filmmaker’s Amblin Television unit has operated for the past seven years.

Amblin Television will now become a division of Amblin Partners. Previously, Spielberg funded the basic operations of Amblin Television out of his own pocket, separate from his financing arrangements with Reliance and distribution pact with Disney. Spielberg took what was then DreamWorks TV out of the mix back in 2008 when the company first partnered with Reliance after splitting from Viacom.

Now, Amblin Television will be part of the broader Amblin Partners venture. Longtime DreamWorks/Amblin execs Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank will remain co-presidents and in charge of driving development and programming pacts for the unit. The company’s recent productions include CBS’ “Under the Dome” and “Extant,” FX’s “The Americans,” TNT’s “Falling Skies,” NBC’s “Smash” and Fox’s short-lived “Minority Report.” Amblin has the HBO adaptation of Bryan Cranston’s “All the Way” coming next year, along with another CBS drama “American Gothic.”

Amblin Television will operate autonomously from Participant Media’s TV efforts and that of eOne. However, the new connection between Amblin an eOne could leader to partnership opportunities down the road, especially with eOne’s strength in international distribution. And now that it is part of the larger venture, Amblin TV may take selected shots at wholly financing its shows in order to maintain control of digital and international rights that are so key to TV series profitability.

At present, Amblin TV does some development on its own but partners with networks and studios for production financing. Amblin commands healthy fees and back-end stakes commensurate with Spielberg’s stature but ultimately does not own the shows it produces. The launch of Amblin Partners should give the TV arm access to the kind of capital that will allow them to invest more in rights at a time when demand for TV programming is booming worldwide.

(Pictured: Justin Falvey, Steven Spielberg and Darryl Frank)


Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Steven Knight

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Creator Steven Knight to Adapt ‘SAS: Rogue Heroes’ for BBC

    “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight, Oscar nominated for “Dirty Pretty Things,” is to adapt Ben Macintyre’s book “SAS: Rogue Heroes” for the BBC. The drama series will tell the story of how the British special forces unit, the SAS, came to be formed. The series will be produced by Kudos, whose credits include “Broadchurch” and [...]

  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation

    Kevin Smith Announces Anime 'He-Man' Series for Netflix

    Kevin Smith surprised audiences at Sunday’s annual Power-Con convention by announcing a new anime “He-Man” series for Netflix. The new series, titled “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” will take place in the Mattel toy inspired world and will focus on some of the unresolved storylines of the classic ‘80s show. Smith will serve as showrunner [...]

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content