Incendo moving into one-hour dramas

Taps development exec Libby Beers in new L.A. office

TORONTO -- Incendo Media has hired former Lifetime executive Libby Beers to launch the Canadian TV movie producer into the one-hour drama business.

Montreal-based Incendo, which has carved out a niche as a global TV movie co-producer of choice, has opened a Los Angeles office, with Beers at the helm as a development executive.

Beers was senior vp original movies at Lifetime for eight years to 2007, where she programmed a host of Incendo TV movies.

The producer has also hired former IM Global Television president Gavin Reardon as head of international sales and co-production development to launch a global sales division.

Since 2001, Incendo has produced 37 female-centric telepics, many of which aired on Lifetime stateside via an output deal and were distributed internationally by U.K.-based Power.

"We do it (telepics) differently, making female-led thrillers that are not typical TV movies, but expand the boundaries of the genre, and fit the needs for America and the international marketplace," Incendo co-founder and partner Stephen Greenberg said.

The latest TV movie project shot in Montreal is "Second Chances," a suspense thriller directed by Jean-Claude Lord that stars Melissa George and Ryan Scott.

The TV movies also air in Canada on pay TV channels the Movie Network, Movie Central and Super Ecran.

Jean Bureau, co-partner at Incendo with Greenberg, said the success of the TV movie division has enabled the producer to expand into drama series production for the Canadian, U.S. and international markets.

Incendo last year also shared executive producer credits on NBC's "Crusoe," a Canada/U.K./ South Africa co-production.

"As we develop the company, we want to be closer to U.S. broadcasters now developing series," Bureau said.

Incendo is the latest Canadian producer to launch itself into U.S. primetime, joining Shaftesbury Films, E1 Entertainment, Cookie Jar Entertainment and Peace Arch Entertainment.

Greenberg said Incendo is shopping two properties to U.S. networks and studios, and expects to have the first series in production in early 2010.

Incendo eventually aims to produce around 26 episodes of one-hour dramas annually, as it raises about half of the production financing on its own and relies on international co-partners for the rest.

The company also has its own distribution pipeline, Fox/Incendo Television Distribution, a joint venture with Twentieth Century Fox and Canada's largest TV content distributor.

And Incendo handles theatrical distribution in Quebec for Paramount Vantage.