Diane Boehme Leads Breakthrough Entertainment Into Global Dramas

The Canadian producer lured the veteran TV exec away from L.A.-based Essential Pictures' EBTV joint venture in Canada to produce primetime one hour shows for export.

TORONTO - Diane Boehme has left EBTV, a Canadian TV joint venture backed by Los Angeles-based Essential Pictures, to launch indie producer Breakthrough Entertainment into one hour global dramas.

Boehme on Wednesday became senior development executive, scripted, features and factual at Breakthrough.

The veteran Canadian TV exec in June 2010 jumped on board EBTV, a joint venture between Essential Pictures and Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures.

While at EBTV, she developed a programming slate that included Covenants, developed with Scott Free Television, and the MOW Mr. Hockey, about hockey legend Gordie Howe.

Now at Breakthrough, Boehme will lead the Canadian indie in developing and producing a slate of scripted projects for the world market, in collaboration with EBTV and other Canadian partners.

“The world is getting smaller all over the place. Stories, in order to get financed, are finding a number of homes, and going to universal themes and specific settings,” Boehme said.

She added Breakthrough will either develop and produce one hour dramas in Canada for sale into the U.S. and elsewhere worldwide.

Or the Canadian producer will find primetime dramas developed and show-driven in the U.S. market that can be co-produced with Canadian and other international partners.

Breakthrough principal Ira Levy said the Canadian producer is getting deeper into one hour dramas just as domestic broadcasters spend more on the genre as part of regulatory obligations, and American and other foreign broadcasters see value in pacting with Canuck TV producers on global series.

“The beauty is there’s a market, and an appreciation of how great the Canadian talent base is,” he said.

Breakthrough is joining a long list of Canadian producers like Entertainment One, Shaftesbury Films and Cookie Jar Entertainment that are partnering up with American and European producers and broadcasters eager to tap soft money and co-production expertise in Canada to make TV shows in an increasingly global market.

Based in Toronto, Breakthrough’s catalogue of around 3,000 half-hours of programming includes a host of primetime comedies like Less Than Kind and Picnicface and primetime animated series like Crash Canyon and Producing Parker.

Breakthrough also has long track records in kids, factual and lifestyle series.