Fox and Jackal Group chairman and CEO Gail Berman are partnering on a new production venture, Variety has learned.
The new company is called SideCar, which is described as a content development accelerator headed by Berman. The new unit will work side-by-side with Fox, identifying and incubating programming both for the network and third-party platforms. SideCar will be responsible for developing scripted and unscripted programming to complement the active development of Fox. Fox will retain ownership of all series that originate under the SideCar banner.
“The beauty of a SideCar is that the riders are literally headed in the same direction, and having Gail Berman riding shotgun is about as good as it gets,” said Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment. “Michael Thorn, Rob Wade and their teams have Fox firing on all cylinders. So, extending their reach and allowing creators another door through which to access our brands, business and executives is the right strategic move at the time we need it. I’m a great admirer of Gail’s work as both a producer and executive. The respect she commands, her impeccable taste and the meaningful relationships she’s amassed will help fuel Fox Entertainment with quality programming and allow Michael and Rob an even greater palate from which to paint. Everybody wins.”
The Jackal Group will continue as a separate entity. That company just launched the streaming unscripted series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” It also has a number of scripted television projects in development, including adaptations of Ricardo Nuila’s non-fiction book, “The Poor Unfortunates” and Chloe Benjamin’s New York Times best-selling novel, “The Immortalists.”
“Charlie’s innovative, intelligent approach and operational track record is a winning combo, and there is no one better to lead the charge at the reimagined Fox,” said Berman. “With Fox Entertainment, he is ultimately delivering content creators with an environment where they can develop fresh material, and deliver audiences with high quality options across platforms. Fox Entertainment has both the legacy brand and pliant model to deliver both, and I am excited to get going.”
News of the SideCar launch comes as the merger between Disney and 21st Century Fox draws ever closer. Upon completion of the merger, the Fox broadcast network will be part of the separate Fox Corporation entity that will emerge after the sale.