CBS Corporation and Imagine Television Enter Into Strategic Partnership
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.