11:00am PT by Rick Porter
Fox Disbands SideCar; Gail Berman Returning to Jackal Group
Fox Entertainment is bringing its "content development accelerator" SideCar more fully in-house. The network is retiring the SideCar name and bringing its development and production capabilities into its scripted programming department.
SideCar chairperson Gail Berman is also departing to return full-time as CEO of The Jackal Group, which operated independently of SideCar. She'll remain attached as an executive producer of any Fox projects that originated under SideCar.
"This is something Gail and I have been discussing and as a result of those conversations, we are retiring the SideCar name and Gail has decided to return full-time to her company, The Jackal Group," Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier wrote in a memo to staff (see the full memo below). "One of the industry’s most respected executives, Gail has played a number of integral roles at Fox over the past two decades. She is the definition of professional and I value her guidance, advice and support."
At least one SideCar staff member will make the transition to Fox.
SideCar was formed in February 2019 following Fox's split from 20th Century Fox TV, which was part of the $73 billion Disney acquisition, and served as a studio of sorts, operating autonomously and complementing Fox's own scripted and unscripted development. The network has since launched an unscripted studio, Fox Alternative Entertainment, but doesn't have a dedicated scripted studio. Still, ownership of programming has remained a priority at Fox, with the network serving as a co-producer on all new projects from outside studios.
With already completed and acquired shows filling out Fox's fall lineup and scripted series not set to return until early 2021, however, the soonest Fox would likely schedule and SideCar projects would likely be the 2021-22 season.
SideCar has 17 projects in active development at Fox, and work on those projects will continue after it's absorbed. They include writer Sarah Watson's Goonies re-enactment drama, which remains in contention for a series pickup, comedies The Texanist, Mr. Black and Every Other Weekend and dramas The Perfect Couple, a show about a country music family dynasty and a city hall drama. It has also sold Royalties to Quibi and Wellsville to NBC.
Read Collier's memo below.
I'm writing to tell you about organizational changes that will bring SideCar's production and development capabilities more formally into the FOX scripted programming department. This is something Gail and I have been discussing and as a result of those conversations, we are retiring the SideCar name and Gail has decided to return full-time to her company, The Jackal Group.
One of the industry’s most respected executives, Gail has played a number of integral roles at FOX over the past two decades. She is the definition of professional and I value her guidance, advice and support.
Along with her team at SideCar, Gail has accomplished so much during our time together, setting up nearly 20 projects at Fox Entertainment alone, and also succeeding broadly across Hollywood, selling projects to Quibi (Royalties) and NBC (Wellsville), among others.
At The Jackal Group, Gail has a number of film and television projects in active development and production. I am certain we will collaborate on many ideas moving forward. It’s what Gail does and she does it very well.
I know I speak for us all when I wish Gail and everyone at SideCar only good in the days ahead.
Please reach out to your colleagues at SideCar. And please continue to take care of yourselves and your families.