Blumhouse Launches TV Studio, Sells Roger Ailes Miniseries to Showtime

Jason Blum -  CinemaCon -Getty-H 2016
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Blumhouse is expanding again.

Jason Blum’s prolific production company has launched an independent TV studio, with a significant investment from ITV Studios. The latter will maintain a 45 percent stake in the new shingle, which will finance and produce original series, both scripted and unscripted, in the "dark" genre realm. Already in the works: a Purge TV series, which Blumhouse will co-produce with Universal Cable Productions for both USA and Syfy, and a previously announced Roger Ailes limited series, Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, which has landed at Showtime.

“Over the past few years, we have been working to build Blumhouse Television into an independent studio so we can have the autonomy to work with the best storytellers and give them freedom to create the best dark genre programming. It is a dream that day is here," noted Blum. "Julian [Bellamy] and his team at ITV are remarkable partners and we can’t wait to kick things off with The Purge and Secure and Hold. We are excited that with the launch of this new studio, we are expanding our partnership with NBCUniversal by growing The Purge franchise into a television series and are grateful for their incredible support of Blumhouse overall."

The Ailes project, one of at least two already in the works, is based on Gabriel Sherman’s reports of the Fox News founder, including Sherman’s New York magazine coverage and his best-selling book, The Loudest Voice in the Room. Oscar winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) is shepherding the series, which John Harrington Bland, Sherman and Jennifer Stahl will write and co-executive produce

For its part, The Purge stems from Blumhouse’s hugely successful horror franchise from creator James DeMonaco. Blumhouse TV will serve as the lead studio on the small- screen adaptation, with DeMonaco overseeing the series. A writers room has already opened, and the cross-genre show will air on both of Chris McCumber’s NBCU-owned cable networks. Platinum Dunes and DeMonaco’s longtime producing partner Sebastien K. Lemercier will executive produce the series.

Blumhouse TV launched in 2012, and has picked up Emmys for HBO’s The Jinx and The Normal Heart. Other projects include A&E’s recently rebooted Cold Case Files and YouTube Red’s 12 Deadly Days. On the film side, Blumhouse is locked into a 10-year deal with Universal Pictures. Among its films, which have collectively grossed more than $2.8 billion worldwide, are Jordan Peele breakout horror film Get Out, M. Night Shyamalan hit Split, Insidious, Paranormal Activity and critical darling Whiplash.

The indie studio will continue to be led by recently hired co-presidents, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold. The pair, who extended their long-term deals as part of the partnership with ITV, will continue to report to Blum and Charles Layton, president of Blumhouse. All four will join ITV on the board of the independent TV company. As part of the new arrangement, Blumhouse TV and ITV Studios Global Entertainment will look to partner on the global distribution of future projects.

“Jason and his team have an unrivaled reputation in the suspense and thriller genres, delivering hit after hit at the US and international box office," added Bellamy, ITV Studios' managing director. "They have very quickly established an enviable track record by applying these skills to television and we are delighted to come on board for the next stage of the company’s exciting development. This partnership is another step forward in ITV Studios building a global scripted business of scale.”