Metan inks deal with Tianjin TV

Agreement includes production, distribution of 'Icons' series

One-year-old international producer-distributor Metan has inked a deal with Tianjin TV in China to produce and distribute a nonfiction series called "Icons," marking the company's first co-production with a satellite TV partner.

Company was set up in early 2009 by U.S. industry vets Martin Pompadur and Larry Namer to develop and distribute alternative product for international markets, especially China and Russia.

"Icons" will profile film, athletic, fashion, business and creative figures, focusing on their personal backgrounds, professional pursuits and lifestyles. The 52-part series will debut in July in China, airing Fridays at 11 p.m. on Tianjin Satellite TV and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on Tianjin's Binhai Channel.

" 'Icons' will offer up a new perspective on the true stories of some of the world's most well-known personalities," Namer said. "The series is being created specifically for the Chinese viewer in mind, providing in-depth life stories tailored to a Chinese cultural viewpoint."

Tianjin Satellite TV has a national reach of 600 million across China with emphasis in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, while Binhai Channel has a local reach of 20 million viewers across Tianjin.

Metan also holds broadcast rights outside China for Mandarin-language TV stations and plans to pitch the series in the U.S. and other TV markets.

"Icons" will be produced in China at Tianjin's new digital studios; Metan's co-founders Namer and Jean Zhang are exec producers for the series.