Authentic Sells Scripted TV Series 'Popular' to ABC Signature (Exclusive)

Popular - H 2015
Patrick McMullan

The Brooklyn-based management company's latest venture, 'Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating From the Most Popular Girl in New York City,' will be executive produced by Jason Egenberg.

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Who says that management companies need to be Los Angeles-based to sell studio projects? New York-based Authentic, one of the few top-tier representation houses not headquartered in L.A., has joined the recent boom in scripted television production.

The 17-manager Authentic, with offices in Brooklyn and Culver City, has set up the rib-tickling dating tome Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating From the Most Popular Girl in New York City at ABC Signature. Written by Lauren Urasek and Laura Barcella, Popular chronicles Urasek's attempt to find love among the VGL (very good looking) DDFs (disease and drug free) and those with a GSOH (good sense of humor).

The Popular sale comes on the heels of recent Authentic TV sales including Teddy, a limited series about Teddy Roosevelt, to Showtime, and the supernatural drama Toward the Light to CBS. And with former UTA agent Jason Egenberg running the Authentic Management Productions banner, the TV projects keep landing. Authentic just closed a deal to produce an untitled FX comedy pilot with Community creator Dan Harmon and clients Extremely Decent, an L.A.-based comedy troupe known for its edgy YouTube channel featuring sketches and music videos. The pilot will be a stop-motion-animated half-hour comedy about millennials navigating life in the big city.

Authentic, which reps such stars as Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston, has built a library of about 25 book-based projects including Jeanne Theoarris’ The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, which is being developed as a limited series; Ruth Rosen’s The World Split Open: How The Modern Women’s Movement Change America, another limited series; T.R. Ragan’s best-selling Lizzy Gardner Series; and the recently released Crooked Brooklyn, written by and based on the life of controversial former Brooklyn assistant district attorney Michael Vecchione. With Popular, Authentic acquired rights from Urasek (the company's Joh Morris manages her) and sold the comedy to the boutique production division of ABC Studios. Egenberg will serve as an executive producer.

Says Authentic president Jon Rubinstein of the TV push: "Our clients get to own some of the best projects out there and lend their creative voices, from start to finish."