Entertainment One Acquires Unscripted Producer Blackfin

Geno McDermott - Publicity - H 2019
Bianca Bourgeoi & Anne-Michele Mallory

Blackfin founder and CEO Geno McDermott will become head of U.S. unscripted programming at the independent studio.

Entertainment One is bolstering its unscripted TV efforts with the acquisition of Blackfin, producer of series including ID's I Am Homicide and History's Brothers in Arms.

Blackfin founder and CEO Geno McDermott will become president of U.S. alternative programming – unscripted television at the studio — which was recently bought by toymaker Hasbro in a $4 billion deal — reporting to Tara Long, eOne's president of global unscripted TV. 

"As our global unscripted television business has rapidly expanded, we are eager to bring Geno's entrepreneurial hustle to the eOne team," Long said Thursday in a statement. "I am excited to have Geno’s focus, drive, and business acumen as part of our arsenal to continue building the future of eOne’s unscripted slate. We are extremely impressed by the company and team Geno built so early into his career, and we could not be more thrilled to have Blackfin on board."

McDermott founded Blackfin in 2014. The company has also produced Finding Escobar's Millions for Discovery and Homicide City and Primal Instinct for ID, as well as the feature documentary My Perfect World: The Aaron Hernandez Story.

"Blackfin’s rapid growth called for a strategic partner to provide infrastructure and take the company to new heights, eOne could not be a better fit," said McDermott. "There is a prolific story unfolding at the studio that Tara has spent the past nine years driving, and I am excited to be a part of it. I respect and admire Tara’s grit and tenacity and look forward to collaborating with her as we grow the business together."

The acquisition of Blackfin further expands eOne's unscripted business. Earlier in the summer, the studio acquired U.K. production company Daisybeck Studios and tapped Matt Pritchard and Matt Walton as executive vps unscripted television, based in London. 

The studio's list of unscripted partners also includes Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez’s Creature Films; Matthew Anderson and Nate Green's Purveyors of POP; Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley’s Marwar Junction Productions; David Solomini and Philip Segal’s Crush+Lab; and Simon Howley and Jon-Barrie Waddell’s U.K.-based Fired Up Films.

Entertainment One was repped in the deal by Sidley Austin, with ACF Investment Bank and Loeb & Loeb for Blackfin. The latter is repped by WME.