Nina Tassler, Denise Di Novi's PatMa Signs First-Look Deal at CBS

The agreement includes an ownership stake for CBS in the company and development on 'American Martyrs,' based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel, at Showtime.
Courtesy of CBS/Cliff Lipson and CAA
Nina Tassler (left), Denise Di Novi

Former CBS Entertainment head Nina Tassler is back in business with her old company.

PatMa, the independent studio Tassler and veteran producer Denise Di Novi founded in 2018, has entered into a "strategic partnership" with CBS that includes a first-look deal for projects PatMa develops. CBS has also acquired an ownership stake in the company. 

As part of the deal, PatMa is developing American Martyrs, an adaptation of a Joyce Carol Oates novel, for Showtime. Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Wicked) and Savannah Dooley (Nashville) are writing the series.

"Nina and Denise are accomplished, creative leaders and proven producers who are respected across the industry for their artistic vision as well as their strong social consciousness," David Nevins, chief creative officer at CBS Corp. and chairman and CEO of Showtime said Wednesday in a statetment. "We are excited to partner with them to create programming that speaks to a wide range of audiences across all of our platforms, as well as others."

Under the deal, CBS platforms will get a first look at projects PatMa develops for the broadcast and premium markets. CBS Studios will co-finance and co-produce any projects that land at the CBS network, Showtime or CBS All Access, but PatMa will also be free to sell to other outlets. Di Novi, Tassler and Joan Boorstein, who joined the company as its president in June, will continue to lead PatMa's operations.

PatMa is "committed to gender parity, and giving women and people of color more opportunities both in front of and behind the camera," Di Novi said when she and Tassler launched the company. 

American Martyrs is based on Oates' A Book of American Martyrs, a 2017 novel about two families whose lives collide when a politically charged act of violence rips both apart. Holzman and Dooley are executive producing with Tassler, Di Novi, Debra Greenfield and Linda Kent. 

"We could not have found a better or more supportive partner than CBS in our endeavor to create social relevance and commercial entertainment," said Tassler and Di Novi. "A Book of American Martyrs is the perfect beginning. We are thrilled to have a writer of Winnie Holzman’s stature bringing the work of the esteemed Joyce Carol Oates to the screen."

PatMa is repped by Cliff Gilbert-Lurie at Ziffren Brittenham.