Kimmelot will serve as a creative incubator for the longtime host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” late-night franchise. The goal is to develop scripted and unscripted content as well as apps and other forms of media.
Kimmel will also join Montgomery as a partner in Wheelhouse Entertainment, the company Montgomery launched in January following his departure from ITV America. Kimmelot will operate as part of Wheelhouse.
“Brent’s vision for Wheelhouse Entertainment is simple and brilliant and I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it,” Kimmel said. “Brent and I have a nice balance of monkey and business. Kimmelot will be a place where ideas are made real, from concept to completion.”
Kimmelot will be based in Los Angeles. The deal is a coup for Montgomery and his fledgling venture. Montgomery made his name as the producer of a slew of unscripted cable hits, notably History’s durable “Pawn Stars” franchise. ITV acquired a majority interest in Leftfield at a price tag north of $350 million in 2014.
“There’s a saying — ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person,’” said Montgomery. “That sentiment, along with Jimmy’s talent, heart, creative curiosity and crazy stamina make him an enigmatic superhero of comedy, and of writing, producing and industry building. “We’re both excited to build a haven for the best talent in the business that want to cut through some of the proverbial red tape and get stuff done.”
Kimmel has done limited producing in the past. He’s expanded his profile in recent years as host of the past two Oscar telecasts, and he has produced several primetime specials for ABC. Earlier in his career he exec produced the Comedy Central/MTV series “Crank Yankers,” and he created and produced Comedy Central’s “The Man Show” with his co-star Adam Carolla. But the Kimmelot venture marks his first deep dive into creating his own production entity.
Kimmel is repped by Dixon Talent. The deal with Wheelhouse was brokered by WME and Dixon Talent and the law firms of DLA Piper and Jackoway Austen. Wheelhouse was repped in the deal by executives Rob Lia and Ed Simpson.
(Pictured: Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Montgomery)