5:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Chicken Soup for the Soul Launches Film, TV Studio With David Ozer at the Helm
Chicken Soup for the Soul continues its push into entertainment programming.
The entertainment-focused company has launched its own film and TV studio, Landmark Studio Group, and appointed former IDW Entertainment president David Ozer as its CEO.
As part of its launch, Landmark — which will create and develop franchises for multiple platforms — has set its first development slate, teaming with the likes of Ellen Pompeo, Ice-T and Michael Bay for two scripted series and a docuseries. Like Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Landmark and its development slate is being funded by Cole Strategic Partners.
Landmark will develop, produce and distribute all of the IP it creates and will serve as an independent studio that will not only provide content for Chicken Soup for the Soul's growing VOD platforms (like Crackle), but also for outside outlets. Stand-up comedy specials and animated series are in the works as well.
"All of us at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment are thrilled to be in business with David Ozer. He has the ability and talent to turn Landmark into a high-volume content production operation that we anticipate will provide an additional revenue stream for our company while mitigating production risk,” said William J. Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “We expect Landmark to provide valuable original content to Crackle and the other six AVOD networks that are part of our Crackle Plus subsidiary, as well as our other Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment divisions.”
For his part, Ozer exited as president of IDW Entertainment in August after being with the company since its launch in 2013 to become an independent producer. During his IDW tenure, Ozer was instrumental in bringing IDW properties Wynonna Earp (Syfy), Locke and Key and V-Wars (Netflix) to the small screen.
“It’s incredible what Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is creating in the AVOD space, and I’m excited to launch Landmark as an important studio operation for tomorrow’s media consumers,” said Ozer. “With the support of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, we are poised to become a significant player in the global content marketplace.”
Here are the details on Landmark's first three projects in the works:
• The Fix, a scripted drama that explores the most explosive story of sports corruption in a generation. Based on the book by Declan Hill, it is written by David Dilley and produced by Ellen Pompeo and her Calamity Jane topper Laura Holstein.
• Safehaven, a scripted supernatural horror series based on the graphic novel about a female comic book artist whose drawings come alive to haunt her. Brad Turner produces alongside Thomas Vitale, Jessica Petelle, James Seale, Kevin Duncan and Michael Bay's 451 Media.
• The History of Gangster Rap, a docuseries based on the book by Soren Baker, who produces alongside Jorge Hinojosa and Ice-T. The series features the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, among others.