Sony Pictures Television Inks First-Look TV Deal With Storytelling Platform Wattpad

Allen Lau - 2015 WIRED Business Conference - Getty - H 2018
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Sony earlier nabbed the rights to the story series 'Death Is My BFF,' which bowed on the Canadian online publishing platform led by CEO Allen Lau.

Canadian storytelling platform Wattpad Studios and Sony Pictures Television have inked a first-look deal to turn fictional works published online into TV shows.

The deal follows Sony Pictures Television earlier nabbing the rights to Katarina E. Tonks' story series Death Is My BFF, which bowed on the data-driven Wattpad platform and has Lindsey Rosin (Cruel Intentions) on board to pen the TV series.

Wattpad, founded in 2006, has a platform that allows amateurs to publish their own works of fiction. In recent years, the startup has looked to grow its footprint in film and TV by striking deals with Universal Cable Productions, Entertainment One and others to adapt the platform's IP into entertainment properties.

Wattpad's latest collaboration with Sony will see the partners identify and develop TV shows from fiction story uploads shared on  the online publishing platform. "The stories and diverse voices on Wattpad deserve to be heard all over the world. And our partnership with Sony does just that: bringing Wattpad stories to new and existing fans all over the planet," Wattpad Studios head Aron Levitz said in a statement.

The Sony deal will be overseen by Eric Lehrman, Wattpad’s head of content development and production. Wattpad also produces the series Light as a Feather with AwesomenessTV and Grammnet for Hulu, while the film After, based on Anna Todd’s Wattpad-launched story, is on theatrical release.

Wattpad investors include Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, BDC, Globe Telecom's Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group and Raine.