Marblemedia, Cirque du Soleil Partner to Develop TV Properties

 Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

BANFF, ALBERTA -- Cirque du Soleil and cross-platform producer marblemedia are getting into business to co-produce TV content inspired by the Canadian-based circus troupe.

Toronto-based marblemedia will work with Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture between Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil and Canadian broadcaster Bell Media, to develop and produce a TV miniseries, a one-hour drama and a live musical event.

The development deal will be spearheaded by marblemedia's Los Angeles office, which recently expanded into primetime programming.

“Leveraging our presence in L.A. and our international contacts, our goal is to find innovative showrunners to help us create characters and worlds that are enchanting, unique and astonishing," Matthew Hornburg, co-CEO and executive producer at marblemedia, said of identifying creative talent and a TV slate to shop to North American broadcasters later this year.

Hornburg added that the challenge is developing TV content that resonates with international audiences and is both unique and true to the prestigious Cirque du Soleil brand.

"You have an international brand and reputation [in Cirque du Soleil], so you have to be very particular and distinctive about the choices you make in identifying partners and writers and stories and characters, to ensure it makes sense and comes from that same creative enterprise," he argued.

"Our goal with this partnership is not to televise our live performances, but rather create properties in the primetime scripted arena that will elevate the genre by drawing from Cirque's creative vision," Jacques Methe, Cirque du Soleil Media president, said in a statement.

The Cirque du Soleil Media joint venture was launched two years ago to create film, TV, digital and gaming content for worldwide distribution.

Bell Media brought marblemedia on board to leverage its Los Angeles contacts and talent pool and oversee eventual production of the TV projects, likely in Canada.

Cirque du Soleil has been busy elsewhere on the TV front.

The big-top circus recently pacted with Saban Brands, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, on a cross-platform kids property based on the global entertainment brand.

The partnership calls for a TV series, online content and merchandising spinoffs for the kids' property with worldwide appeal.

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