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The Second City has formed a strategic alliance with Thruline Entertainment and its production arm, Tagline Pictures, to pursue TV and film projects from comedy house’s considerable talent pool.
In addition to developing original content with Tagline (Comedy Central’s The Burn With Jeff Ross, USA’s since-concluded Psych), the Chicago-based improv comedy empire, which has spawned talent including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Adam McKay, John Belushi, Bill Murray and Keegan-Michael Key, will draw on Thruline’s experience as a management company.
“We are thrilled to work with Thruline/Tagline in this new venture,” The Second City CEO and executive producer Andrew Alexander said in a statement announcing the . “In addition to creating new projects with Tagline, this partnership allows us to offer developing talent our experience, as well as Thruline’s management expertise and resources.”
For its part, the Beverly Hills-based talent and literary management company, founded in 2002, will have prime access to The Second City’s most promising trainees — it has more than 11,000 students enrolled annually across its Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles facilities. Thruline already reps several Second City alums, including Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet.
“Andrew and his team have an unprecedented track record in identifying and training some of the best comedy talent in all of entertainment,” Thruline/Tagline partners Chris Henze, JB Roberts, Ron West and Willie Mercer noted in a joint statement. “We are so excited about what we can bring to the table as managers for their next generation of acting and writing talent. As producers of original content, this partnership will provide a deep reservoir of ideas and creators around which to build future development slates.”
Developing original content has been a boon to a slew of management shops. In-house packages from big management firms have led to HBO’s True Detective (Anonymous Content), and Amy Poehler, who matriculated at improv house The Upright Citizens Brigade, counts managers 3 Arts as producers of her NBC comedy Parks and Recreation.
The partners added: “We were obviously intrigued by this opportunity at the outset, but we were completely blown away by the time we spent in Chicago. The scope of their operation is so impressive, but so is the remarkable care and attention they pay to their casts, students and alumni. We are honored to be a part of that tradition going forward.”
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