Capital Cities/ABC Inc. has formed a joint venture with Brillstein-Grey Entertainment to produce programming for network TV and other media.
The partnership--a first between a network and an independent production company--links Capital Cities/ABC with one of Hollywood's best-known management agencies. Bernie Brillstein and Brad Grey's clients include Dana Carvey and Mike Myers. The company also produces "The Larry Sanders Show" for HBO.
Capital Cities/ABC expects Brillstein-Grey to deliver shows to the ABC Television Network and other divisions, but the deal is not exclusive.
One knowledgeable source said Capital Cities/ABC also is looking to exploit Brillstein-Grey's connections in the stand-up comedy world.
"No matter where the world goes technologically, in the end, the program and the talent is the essence," said Robert A. Iger, senior vice president of Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
The major broadcast networks plan to step up their investments in programming in the wake of relaxed production regulations.
Capital Cities/ABC will contribute the majority of the funding for the venture, which could exceed $100 million. Brillstein-Grey will continue to operate its management agency/movie company. The deal does not supersede Brillstein-Grey's deal at Sony Pictures, although it may reduce some of the studio's funding burden.
Creative Artists Agency helped negotiate the deal, with attorneys Jake Bloom and Alan Hergot.