CBS and Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment Form Joint Venture

The first project in the venture is the Mark Feuerstein comedy pilot '9J, 9K and 9L.'
Gabriel Olson/Getty

CBS Corporation and Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment are joining forces.

The two companies have entered a joint venture agreement, with CBS Corp. acquiring an ownership stake in the production company. Under the pact, CBS will provide co-financing for Kapital to invest in its future programming and serve as worldwide distributor.

Kapital will continue to operate independently from CBS Television Studios and the network, and Kaplan will continue to serve as CEO. That autonomy will allow the company to continue to sell to a wide range of TV networks and platforms, particularly as vertical integration and in-house productions at the Big 4 continue to rise.

“CBS is a content company, and this new venture immediately establishes another source to create more programming assets for our distribution pipeline,” CBS Cop. CEO and Chairman Leslie Moonves said. “Aaron is a talented and creative producer, a skilled program packager and a very smart businessperson. We’re excited to build this partnership together.”

Added Kaplan: “This venture enables Kapital to continue matching a creator’s vision to the broadcast, cable or streaming home best suited for their project. And we will continue to work with all of our valued studio partners in the process. At the same time, I have the support of an incredible media company at CBS Corporation, led by Leslie Moonves, whose creative and business accomplishments are unmatched.”

The first project under the venture will be the Mark Feuerstein comedy pilot 9J, 9K and 9L, which CBS TV Studios is co-producing with Kapital. Kaplan has two other comedy pilots at the network, Hannah Royce's Questionable Choices and Me, Myself and I. The former is a co-production between CBS TV Studios and Sony Television, while the latter hails from Warner Bros.

In addition to his three comedies at CBS, he has four other pilots at the Big 4. Kaplan is also an exec producer on current series including Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet, HBO's Divorce, ABC's American Housewife and CBS' Life in Pieces.

Kapital Entertainment recently added longtime 20th Century Fox Television comedy exec Dana Honor to its ranks. While senior vp of comedy development at 20th, she helped develop Last Man on Earth, Speechless, Fresh Off the Boat and Modern Family.

Before launching Kapital in 2009, Kaplan served as head of scripted content at William Morris.

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