Channel 4, Kinetic team for U.S. cable series

Kinetic to develop original, irreverent 13-part cable dramas

LONDON -- U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's rights exploitation division 4Rights has signed a development deal with Kinetic Content, the U.S. production banner unfurled by former RDF USA CEO Chris Coelen in March this year.

The freshly inked deal gives 4 Rights an exclusive first option to pick up all U.K. rights to scripted series developed by Kinetic for the U.S. cable market.

Kinetic will look to develop original and irreverent 13-part cable dramas, as well as shorter run event mini-series while working closely with Channel 4's LA-based program acquisition consultant Crispin Leyser, the parties said Thursday.

Channel 4 will have creative approval over scripts and will work with Kinetic to determine appropriate U.S. outlets and key writers. Kinetic is charged with setting the projects up in the U.S., managing the development process and staff, and securing network orders for the series.

4Rights rights development manager Dominic Schreiber said the deal reflected the opportunities stemming from the "explosion of high quality, shorter run cable dramas."

Said Schreiber: "There's a real opportunity for us to get involved in developing and co-funding U.S. series that we know will deliver ratings for Channel 4 as well as generate considerable secondary revenues for 4Rights."

During his stint as RDF USA CEO Coelen oversaw the company's move into scripted programming striking series orders for dramas including the U.S. version of BBC Three's "Being Human" with cable network Syfy and the Channel 4/Showtime co-production of drama "Meadowlands" (aka "Cape Wrath").

A former United Talent Agency partner, Coelen also set up scripted projects in the U.S. for U.K. indie production banners such as Shed ("Footballer's Wives"), Red ("Queer As Folk") and Monkey Kingdom ("Swinging").

Channel 4 editor for acquired series Anthony Edey said: "The opportunity to be a catalyst for new quality content and to work with Hollywood's top writing talent is an exciting and refreshing challenge."

The deal is billed as a first for the 4Rights development team, which was set up earlier this year to seek out and develop valuable new IP, working closely with writers, producers and rights holders.
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