Steve Carell & Jessica Biel Sign Pod Deals with Universal Cable Productions
Universal Cable Productions (UCP) continues to align itself with the industry's hottest talent, adding two new pod deals to its growing all-star roster. Steve Carell's Carousel Television and Jessica Biel's Iron Ocean Productions join UCP with exclusive development deals; it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. The new deals represent the latest additions to UCP's stellar development roster, which includes Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Entertainment ("The Walking Dead"), Doug Liman's Hypnotic FIlms ("Suits," "Covert Affairs") and most recently Tim Kring ("Heroes") and Gideon Raff ("Homeland").
"At a time when compelling content is thriving across multiple platforms and distribution channels, it's critical to partner with creative individuals who can develop potentially evergreen entertainment," said Wachtel. "Premier talent like Steve Carell and Jessica Biel will bring a tremendous added value to our development slate."
Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Executive Vice President, Development, UCP added, "Steve Carell and Campbell Smith at Carousel Television bring to UCP an undeniable comedic flair and wit, while Michelle Purple and Jessica Biel of Iron Ocean Productions bring a strong female sensibility to a broad range of projects. Diversified product is a key component of our development strategy as we focus on properties that have long-term asset potential."
Steve Carell's Carousel Television and UCP are collaborating on a one-hour untitled project about the golden age of Hollywood in its budding infancy. The story focuses on actual Hollywood events and characters dating back 100 years.
"Carousel is thrilled to be in this new deal with UCP. They share our vision, and they're great kissers," said Carell. "We're looking forward to working with everyone on the UCP team."
Biel's Iron Ocean Productions currently has two projects in development with UCP. Written by Melissa Hilfers, "Pop Culture" tells the story of a bachelor living the high life in NYC who has a sudden change of heart after babysitting his nephew. He hires an aspiring actress to play his wife and things get complicated when he finds himself falling for her. Michael Rauch ("Royal Pains"), who also has an overall deal with UCP, will serve as Executive Producer. From the writing team of Geoff Moore & David Posamentier, "Moguls" is a half-hour workplace comedy about the eccentric 20-somethings employed at a family-owned Colorado ski resort whose way of life is challenged when the mountain is purchased by a corporate behemoth.
"It's been great to find a home at UCP. We are looking forward to our continued collaboration with them," said Biel.
Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple formed Iron Ocean Productions with a mission to produce both feature and television content with strong feminine voices. Along with its UCP slate, Iron Ocean is producing the independent feature THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, the noir/thriller, DIE A LITTLE, with Academy award winner Christopher McQuarrie and the adaptation of the Chris Cleave novel GOLD alongside Ridley's Scott's company Scott Free. Iron Ocean is repped by CAA.
Carousel Television is half of Carell's production banner, with their film side under a separate deal with Warner Bros ("The Incredible Burt Wonderstone", "Crazy, Stupid, Love", "Inside Comedy"). Currently, Carousel Television has two pilots in production at TBS, one of which was recently announced starring Rashida Jones in the title role, [Angie] TRIBECA, written by Steve Carell & Nancy Carell, his wife. Carousel TV also announced an 8-episode event-series for FOX called RIOT (formerly "Slide Show"). Described as "improv on steroids," RIOT, originally a French format, is slated to air this spring with Shine America co-producing.
Universal Cable Productions creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted and digital content across multiple media platforms and outlets for domestic and international distribution. UCP produces "Covert Affairs," "Psych," "Playing House," "Royal Pains" and "Suits" for USA; "Defiance," and "Warehouse 13" for Syfy and "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" for distribution on Machinima Prime/YouTube, Syfy and DVD/Blu-Ray. Universal Cable Productions is a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Photo by Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.