Killer on the air with Lionsgate

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Killer Films, the independent film production company whose credits include "Far From Heaven" and "Boys Don't Cry," has inked a first-look TV deal with indie studio Lionsgate to develop and produce programming for broadcast and cable.

Although most of Killer's credits are in the feature film arena -- they also include "One Hour Photo," "Happiness," "Velvet Goldmine" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" -- the company, headed by Christine Vachon, recently entered the TV arena as producers on the HBO Films television movie "Mrs. Harris," which earned 12 Emmy noms last year, and the Showtime series "This American Life."

The deal with Lionsgate came about after Vachon's reps at WMA made the studio aware of Killer's interest in becoming more involved in television, said Kevin Beggs, president of television programming and production at Lionsgate.

"We loved her sensibility; she's a creatively gifted producer who has created such an amazing body of work," he said. "And they are fiercely independent, as we like to think of ourselves. It was a perfect fit."

Although it's too early to discuss specifics, Beggs said, Killer initially will be focusing primarily on developing scripted series, but he's not ruling anything out down the road, including unscripted projects or TV movies.

For her part, Vachon said she's looking forward to working with Lionsgate to produce "great television."

"Lionsgate has had tremendous success growing a brand in the last few years and has been at the forefront of new talent in television," she said. "We've always admired their daring work."

Killer got its start in 1991 when Vachon produced Todd Haynes' first feature, "Poison," a Grand Jury Prize winner at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, the company has worked with such other directors as Kimberly Peirce, Mary Harron, Todd Solondz, Robert Altman and John Waters.

Upcoming Killer productions include Haynes' "I'm Not There," a film about Bob Dylan starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger; Tom Kalin's "Savage Grace," starring Julianne Moore; Tommy O'Haver's "An American Crime," starring Catherine Keener; and Helen Hunt's directorial debut, "Then She Found Me," starring Hunt, Bette Midler, Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick.

Lionsgate's TV credits include Showtime's "Weeds," the CW's "Hidden Palms," USA Network's "The Dead Zone," Sci Fi Channel's "The Dresden Files" and ABC Family's "Wildfire" along with upcoming series "The Kill Point" for Spike TV and "Mad Men" for AMC.
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