CBS CORPORATION AND IMAGINE TELEVISION FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Companies to Co-Finance and Co-Produce New Television Programming;
CBS Corporation Platforms to Have First Look at Imagine TV Series
LOS ANGELES - July 31, 2017 - CBS Corporation Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves and Imagine Entertainment Chairman Brian Grazer announced today that Imagine Television Studios and CBS Corporation have entered into a four-year co-financing and first look agreement for scripted and unscripted television and long-form digital programming.
The new deal establishes an independent and expansive opportunity for Imagine to partner with CBS to co-produce and co-own programming for the CBS Television Network, CBS All Access and SHOWTIME, as well as for non-CBS affiliated platforms. The CBS Corporation platforms will have the first look at new Imagine Television series, with CBS Television Studios serving as a production partner and worldwide distributor for programming produced as part of the agreement. Imagine will retain distribution rights in certain Asian territories, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
Imagine recently announced an independent $100 million co-financing deal with TVB Ventures for the development and production of television projects.
"I am so excited for this partnership with Les, someone I deeply respect and admire, and with whom I share a decades-long friendship. For the past 30 years, the hallmark of Imagine's success has been in cultivating storytellers to create aspirational, exciting and unique films and television series. We intend to sign exclusive overall deals with inventive talent, including writers and filmmakers, to create a modern content studio that values collaboration with autonomy," said Grazer.
"I've been friends with Brian for 30 years; he is one of the true creative geniuses in our business," said Moonves. "I have long admired the company that he and Ron built, as well as the consistent artistry of their work. Imagine Television series always stand out for their quality, creativity and ability to connect with audiences. This agreement aligns our broadcast, pay cable and streaming businesses with a best-in-class partner, and represents another strategic opportunity to own and distribute more content across a dynamic television landscape."
"While Imagine continues to evolve our presence and reach as producers and a studio, we are thrilled to have the partnership and support of CBS Corporation. It allows us the amazing opportunity to work with the talented and respected executives at CBS in developing hit shows for their diverse portfolio and the ability to further our reach into all areas of cable and digital. Both these options make us a great home for talent," said Francie Calfo, President of Imagine Television.
Imagine has a robust slate of television projects, including the award-winning series "Empire" for the Fox Network, "Arrested Development" for Netflix, and "Genius," starring Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, "Mars" and "Breakthrough," for the National Geographic Channel.
This year, Imagine Television programming received 16 Emmy nominations. "Genius" garnered 10 nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special for Ron Howard. It was Howard's first nomination for directing in television. "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years" received five nominations, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Earlier this year, the
documentary won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Music Film.
Imagine also recently signed Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ("A Beautiful Mind") to a first look deal for scripted television.
About CBS Corporation:
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world's largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand - "the Eye" - one of the most recognized in business. The Company's operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS's businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.
About Imagine Entertainment:
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer with the goal of creating independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine productions have received 43 Academy Award nominations and 187 Emmy Award nominations. Past productions include Academy Award Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind, as well as The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years, 8 Mile, Apollo 13, American Gangster, The Da Vinci Code, Liar Liar, Backdraft, and Parenthood. Upcoming films include American Made and The Dark Tower. Current television productions include Fox's Empire, NatGeo's Genius and Mars, and Netflix's Arrested Development. Past television productions include NBC's Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, Fox's 24 franchise, PBS's Curious George, as well as HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash, and continue to run Imagine Entertainment as Executive Chairmen.