Former ICM Partners agent-turned-producer Ruthanne Secunda has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.
ABC Studios International’s 13-episode summer series “Reef Break” marks her first project, which began production in Queensland, Australia, last week. Secunda developed the show while she was still at ICM with longtime client Poppy Montgomery, star of “Unforgettable” and “Without a Trace.”
Montgomery, who first came up with the idea for “Reef Break,” will star in the series. Secunda, Montgomery, and showrunner Mark Rosner will executive produce. Ken Sanzel was previously listed as showrunner on the series.
“We’re thrilled to bring Ruthanne into the ABC Studios family,” said ABC Studios president Patrick Moran. “We’ve worked with her for years as an agent, and marveled at her skills at packaging series and bringing projects to fruition. We’re thrilled to have someone with her taste and great relationships with talent in house.”
Secunda will develop comedic and dramatic series, in addition to unscripted content, for the studio. Her new company is called Ruthanne Secunda Productions.
There, she plans to draw upon the relationships developed during her tenure at ICM (and prior to that, UTA). Her talent list at ICM included David Harbour, Ioan Gruffudd, Jerry O’Connell, Kristin Chenoweth, Lucy Hale, Lucy Liu, Piper Perabo, Montgomery, Taye Diggs, and Tori Spelling.
Secunda’s career started out at Abrams Artists in New York, where she ultimately became a theatrical agent and kicked off the acting careers of now high-profile comedians including Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, and Marc Maron.
She then moved to Los Angeles and joined UTA, eventually co-running its TV talent department and packaging TV shows, including “The Bernie Mac Show.” Her client roster at UTA included Marcia Gay Harden, Nathan Fillion, Jon Cryer, Michael Imperioli, Patrick Dempsey, and others.