Imagine Entertainment Buys Stake in Jax Media

Ron Howard Brian Grazer - H 2016
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Ron Howard Brian Grazer - H 2016

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are teaming with the company behind the 'Roseanne' reboot and a slew of other TV comedies.

Imagine Entertainment, the production company founded and chaired by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, said Tuesday it has made a strategic investment in Jax Media, the studio known for half-hour TV comedies Full Frontal With Samantha Bee on TBS, Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and the Roseanne reboot, whish is set to air on ABC.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but Imagine is reportedly taking a controlling stake in Jax, immediately boosting its presence in shortform comedy while helping Jax break into movies. Imagine said it will help Jax develop, produce and finance comedic film and scripted TV projects.

Jax was founded seven years ago by Tony Hernandez, along with Lilly Burns and John Skidmore, and it has since collected more than 25 Emmy nominations.

Imagine might be best known nowadays for dramatic, award-winning feature films like Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code and 8 Mile, but it was founded after Howard and Grazer worked on the 1999 comedy Night Shift together.

"Our company's roots are in comedy," Grazer said. "Tony has a keen eye for talent and exceptional taste and execution."

Among the comedies that have already hailed from Imagine are the films Parenthood, The Nutty Professor and Liar Liar, as well as the TV series Arrested Development

"We are so excited to welcome Tony and Jax Media to the Imagine family," said Howard. "They bring with them an immense amount of expertise and success in the comedy space and I look forward to collaborating with them and expanding our footprint in that genre."

Imagine said the partnership expands the company "into a new content vertical by furthering its access to up-and-coming comedic talent," and also gives it access to Jax's physical production facilities in New York and Los Angeles.