Graham King launches TV division

GK-TV will be run by ex-Lionsgate exec Craig Cegielski

Graham King is branching out.

The Oscar-winning feature producer has launched a television division of his GK Films and tapped Lionsgate TV executive Craig Cegielski to run it.

Cegielski will oversee GK-TV from GK Films' Santa Monica offices and report to King, the president and CEO.

"This is the next logical step for us," King said. "We see great growth potential in television and are excited to be expanding into this arena."

Cegielski started at GK-TV on Monday. He left Lionsgate, where he was executive vp programming and sales, international TV, on Friday.

"We're sorry to see him go, but he is an entrepreneur who's wanted to build his own business, and we are excited about the opportunity for him," Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs said.

Beggs and Lionsgate TV COO Sandra Stern already are interviewing candidates to replace Cegielski as head of the company's international sales department.

At GK-TV, "we're going to open it up to showrunners who have a single voice, to creators with a vision of auteurs," Cegielski said, adding that the company's focus will be on hourlong dramas.

Noting that GK Films is "amazingly capitalized," Cegielski said that GK-TV plans to independently produce and distribute its product without the backing of a major U.S. studio.

However, using his international TV background, Cegielski will pursue co-productions with international broadcasters and international presales and build an extensive international distribution network for GK-TV's shows.

At Lionsgate, Cegielski launched the studio's international distribution arm. He orchestrated international programming acquisitions including dramas "This Is Not My Life" and "The Guard" and reality series "Parenti Talenti," set up international productions of the reality series "Dirty Dancing" and "Paris Hilton's My BFF" and recently brokered a distribution deal for HBO's animated "The Ricky Gervais Show" and ABC's "Shaq Vs."

Before Lionsgate, Cegielski worked at CBS/King World International, specializing in local production and programming.

King launched GK Films in May 2007 with business partner Tim Headington. GK Films recently produced the upcoming thriller "Edge of Darkness," starring Mel Gibson, and completed shooting on "The Rum Diary," starring Johnny Depp, and "London Boulevard," starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley.

Other GK Films projects in various stages of development or production include "Rango," directed by Gore Verbinski for Paramount, and "The Town," written and directed by Ben Affleck for Warner Bros.