Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley Reveal New Production Company's Development Slate
UPDATED: The former MTV execs officially announced DiGa, their partnership with Ben Silverman's Electus, at NATPE Monday morning.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — DiGa Vision, created by former MTV programming gurus Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley and bankrolled by Ben Silverman’s Electus, is developing its first slate of shows with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Corolla, Nick Cannon and fashion expert Jill Martin.
The company, at NATPE this week, says it has three projects in development with Jackhole Industries, the production company run by Kimmel, Carolla and Daniel Kellison. Jackhole produces Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC and was behind The Man Show and Crank Yankers on Comedy Central.
One project is a reality comedy show for which Kimmel wrote the pitch. Another, primarily developed by Carolla, is a reality competition show that DiSanto said is “a competition realty show with a comedic twist.”
"We are close to taking these out," Gateley said. "We are strategizing which networks to take them to.”
It is unlikely that Kimmel or Carolla will appear in any of them.
DiGa and Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment are developing a show, likely for cable, that's centered around Amanda Diva, a hip-hop/soul singer who has done a show for Sirius XM and an online talk show.
And Martin, author of Fashion for Dummies and the upcoming I Have Nothing to Wear, is developing a fashion series with DiGa that will have an interactive element.
DiGa also will benefit from series and pilot commitments that DiSanto and Gateley have brought with them from MTV Networks.
DiSanto, as president of programming at MTV, and Gateley, senior vp of series development, left MTV in September to form DiGa. Series they helped bring to MTV include Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, The Hard Times of RJ Berger and Teen Mom, and they are exec producers on Teen Wolf, the MTV series based on the 1985 movie that debuts this summer.
To fill DiGa’s executive ranks, DiSanto and Gateley have turned to two former MTV associates.
Mike Powers has been named creative executive, with responsibility for managing production and development. He supervised MTV’s Total Request Live and exec produced the first two seasons of MTV’s MADE. Before becoming an independent producer in 2008, Powers was exec producer of the MTV series College Life, Sex With Mom and Dad, the Buried Life and World of Jenks.
Working with Powers will be Scott Silberman as executive in charge of production. He served MTV for seven years as a supervising and line producer.
Electus, a division of Barry Diller’s IAC, describes itself as a multimedia entertainment studio. Its goal is to “unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms.”
On Jan. 18, Electus announced the acquisition of Engine Entertainment and the formation of its own international distribution arm, Electus/Engine Distribution. It is headed by Chris Philip, who had been Engine CEO.
Silverman is known for his ability to involve advertisers in his shows. DiSanto called him “a visionary in the television, digital and branded entertainment worlds,” adding that “his mastery of distribution and sponsor relations coupled with our hands-on development and producing experience will allow us to establish DiGa as a formidable content studio.”
In terms of what they want to produce, Gateley said she and DiSanto are “fans of content that makes a cultural impact … that resonates in pop culture.”
DiGa, a combination of DiSanto and Gateley’s last names, means “to speak” in Spanish.
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