Rive Gauche gets into originals

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Rive Gauche Television, which co-produces, acquires and distributes programming on a global basis, has expanded into original production and development, bringing on board executives Edwin Zane and Jason Bourgault.

RGT's expansion comes on the heels of the recent completion of a multimillion-dollar capital increase from private fund Cedar Lane. RGT will continue to engage in co-production partnerships with domestic and international producers in addition to pursuing acquisitions and format development.

"There's a tremendous need in the international marketplace for product," Rive Gauche CEO Jon Kramer said. "We're selling around the world directly to broadcasters and get a lot of information from them about what they are looking for. Having the ability to go to producers in-house facilitates the communication process and allows us to cater to our customers."

Kramer declined to specify the amount of Cedar Lane's capital increase, saying only that "it has allowed us to beef up our staff and enter solo into the production business."

To that end, Zane has been named vp development, and Bourgault exec producer/senior vp. Zane was a development executive who has worked on shows including "Battlestar Galactica" for USA Cable Entertainment, while Bourgault's background includes writing, producing and directing reality programming. He has worked on shows like ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos."

Mark Rafalowski, president of production and acquisitions at RGT, said the company has about 20 unscripted projects on its development and production slate. The company's portfolio includes such titles as "Dog Whisperer," "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead" and "Whacked Out Sports."

"We're really approaching this as a boutique or mini studio," he said. "We're absolutely 100% dedicated to continuing to work with all the producers we're working with. But we're also going to be more proactive in bringing work to our producers rather than waiting for them to bring things up."

The company also is looking to adapt its international series -- like "Beyond the Badge," which airs in various territories -- for the U.S. market. In addition, RGT also has a few scripted projects in development that were written before the writers strike.

"The minute we can move forward on those, we will," Rafalowski said.

RGT is a division of Los Angeles-based Rive Gauche Entertainment, which was founded in 1994.
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