Benderspink segues to CBS Par TV

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Benderspink has inked a two-year first-look deal with CBS Paramount Network TV.

The pact represents a major push into television for the production/management company, which is looking to build on the success of its first TV series, ABC Family/ABC Studios' "Kyle XY."

Benderspink, a prolific feature producer with such credits as "A History of Violence," "Monster-in-Law" and "Just Friends," has had a first-look movie deal with New Line for the past nine years.

"Just like on the feature side, we like to have a solid relationship that we can develop on," said Chris Bender, Benderspink's principal alongside JC Spink. "We were looking for a TV home that was more solid, with larger budgets, for the kind of material we want to be doing."

For the past four years, Benderspink had a first-look deal with 20th TV's low-cost Fox21 division. It's not clear whether any of the projects Benderspink developed under that partnership could be brought to CBS Par. Benderspink's slate at Fox21 included TV versions of "The Butterfly Effect" and "Monster-in-Law."

Even though they had never worked with CBS Par, Bender said they hit it off with execs at the studio, which has been ramping up cable development in addition to its network business. "What they're looking to do is to expand their brand, and that fits with what we're trying to do," Bender said.

Benderspink's TV efforts are being shepherded by former UTA agent-turned-executive Alex Kerr.

"On the feature side, we've had success in comedy and genre as well as in identifying properties and formats," he said. "We want to continue to do that on television."

The deal for Benderspink was negotiated by UTA. (partialdiff)
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