×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO Alum Michael Ellenberg Teams With Bron Studios to Launch Media Res Banner (EXCLUSIVE)

Former HBO executive Michael Ellenberg has teamed with Bron Studios to launch a TV and film production company dubbed Media Res.

Media Res aims to develop and finance its own projects, taking advantage of the strong demand in the U.S. and in overseas markets for high-end TV series.

The first property in the works is a limited series adaptation of the five-hour 1973 Ingmar Bergman film “Scenes From a Marriage.” Hagai Levi, creator of “In Treatment” and co-creator of “The Affair,” and playwright Amy Herzog are collaborating on the scripts, with Levi also planning to serve as showrunner and director. Lars Blomgren of Sweden’s Filmlance International, and Daniel Bergman, son of the late filmmaker, are also exec producers.

Bron Studios is a Vancouver-based production and financing entity that helped shepherd such recent pics as “The Birth of a Nation,” “Fences,” the upcoming Charlize Theron starrer “Tully” and the Sundance darling “Beatriz at Dinner.” The pact with Ellenberg is an effort to rev up the company’s activity in TV.

Bron, launched in 2010 by Aaron Gilbert and Brenda Gilbert, will arrange financing for Media Res projects. Through Bron’s investment in the startup, Ellenberg has a development fund that will allow him to cut deals with writers directly and take his time to develop and package projects before shopping them to buyers. Ellenberg aims to draw on his relationships and experience as head of drama for HBO and as a film development and production exec for Scott Free Productions and Scott Rudin Productions in assembling high-end productions.

“Even in a crowded landscape, cutting-edge and innovative TV shows are what is breaking through,” Ellenberg told Variety. “There’s never a surplus of great shows.”

Bringing financing to the table through Bron will help Media Res attract top talent. It’s also designed to make them players in the growing international co-production arena, typified by “The Young Pope,” a series Ellenberg developed during his time at HBO.

“This is a great moment for creatives with a lot of television being made for a lot of new distributors. We want to work with artists to push boundaries and help people realize their most provocative, daring vision,” Ellenberg said.

During his five years at HBO, Ellenberg developed such series as “Westworld,” “The Leftovers,” “Big Little Lies,” “True Detective” and the upcoming David Simon-George Pelecanos period drama “The Deuce.”

Ellenberg connected with the Bron principles as he was scouting around for his next move after exiting HBO in early 2016. The partners share similar taste in material and an artist-friendly approach to business, Ellenberg said.

“As we begin Bron’s foray into television we’re delighted to partner with an executive and producer whose background and eye for material is first-rate,” the Gilberts said. “We look forward to bringing a wealth of ground-breaking content to the screen together.”

Ellenberg is in the process of setting up office space in Hollywood. He aims to recruit seven to 10 staffers in the coming months.

The moniker “Media Res” is derived from the Latin phrase “in medias res,” a literary term for a story that opens in the middle of the action, challenging readers (or viewers) to figure out the context as the narrative unfolds.

“It’s the kind of storytelling I really enjoy,” Ellenberg said. “It’s about having a fundamental respect for an audience that wants to be challenged.”

(Pictured: Michael Ellenberg, “Scenes From a Marriage”)

More TV

  • StarzPlay Buys Erotic Thriller Series 'Instinto,'

    StarzPlay Buys Erotic Thriller 'Instinto' and Drama Series ‘Sanctuary’ for U.K.

    StarzPlay has snagged rights to Spanish-produced erotic thriller series “Instinto” and psychological thriller “Sanctuary.” The Starz streaming service has scored both series for the U.K., and for unspecified territories in mainland Europe. Movistar Plus and Bambu Producciones-produced “Instinto” follows Marco Mur, an attractive, successful businessman. A trauma from his past prevents him from getting emotionally [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston Signs Writers Guild Code

    The Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston agency has signed the Writers Guild of America’s Code of Conduct, allowing the agency to return to representing WGA members again. The WGA made the announcement Monday night. RBEL is joining more than 70 agencies allowed to represent WGA members thanks to agreeing to a ban of agency packaging fees [...]

  • Fiona Lang and Ryan Shiotani

    BBC Studios Hires GMs in Further Asia Reshuffle

    BBC Studios the coproduction and rights sales arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, has appointed Fiona Lang and Ryan Shiotani as general managers in the Asia-Pacific region. Lang, currently COO for the company in Australia and New Zealand, is promoted to become BBC Studios’ GM in the same geography. Her responsibilities cover marketing, advertising, creative, [...]

  • The Lord of the Rings: The

    'Lord of the Rings' Series Renewed by Amazon for Season 2

    Amazon has given an early Season 2 renewal to its forthcoming “Lord of the Rings” series. Pre-production on the project’s first season, which is set to film in New Zealand, is currently underway — although sources tell Variety that the full cast has not yet been set. Several actors, including Markella Kavenagh, Will Poulter, and [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Chinatown' Prequel Series in Development at Netflix From David Fincher, Robert Towne

    A prequel series to the classic film “Chinatown” is in early development at Netflix, Variety has confirmed with sources. David Fincher and Robert Towne, the film’s writer, are attached to pen the script. It will reportedly focus on the exploits of a young Jake “J.J.” Gittes during his early days as a private investigator. Netflix declined [...]

  • TV Roundup: Pop TV Releases Teaser

    TV News Roundup: Pop TV Releases Teaser for 'Schitt's Creek's' Final Season

    In today’s TV news roundup, Pop TV releases a teaser for the final season of “Schitt’s Creek,” and Nickelodeon kicks off the holiday season with “Top Elf.” DATES Nickelodeon’s “Top Elf” series will premiere Nov. 29. “Top Elf” is a new competition series featuring guest judges Frankie Grande, Amirah Kassem, Peyton List, Alex Wassabi and [...]

  • Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit

    Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit List, a League Table of Unproduced British TV Scripts

    Karen Cogan’s “Fled” has come top of The Brit List, a league table of unproduced scripts from British writing talent, this year devoted to television projects. The list, similar to The Black List in the U.S., was compiled from recommendations by British production companies, talent agencies, financiers and broadcasters. Cogan, represented by Independent Talent Group, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content