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Prolific producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum are leaving broadcast’s studio system.
The married producing duo have exited their deal with CBS Television Studios, their home of nearly a decade, for a first-look, overall pact with studio Lionsgate Television. Sources say the duo’s deal with the studio was up and the split was amicable.
Under the pact, the Tannenbaums will create scripted programming through their Tannenbaum Co. banner.
The Tannenbaums first arrived at CBS Television Studios in 2010, signing a three-year overall deal with CBS’ studio counterpart. Under the agreement, they executive produced network hits including Chuck Lorre’s Two and a Half Men (which ran for 12 seasons), The Odd Couple reboot (two seasons) and short-lived entries Rob and We Are Men, among others. More recently, the duo have been focused on cable, with Freeform’s Young and Hungry set to end this year after five seasons (with a movie in development) and TV Land’s half-hour Impastor, which ran for two season. They currently exec produce Tracy Morgan’s FX-turned-TBS comedy The Last OG and are attached to serve in the same capacity on the studio’s Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding drama Pump (which has yet to land at a network).
“We’re delighted to partner with Eric and Kim, two of the most gifted and prolific television producers in the industry,” Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs said Monday in a statement. “They have shepherded a roster of iconic series and we look forward to working together.”
Before signing with CBS TV Studios, the duo were partners with Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development) and worked for his Tantamount production company when it was based at Sony Pictures Television Studios. When that deal expired, the Tannenbaums and Hurwitz split and the former struck out on their own. Eric Tannenbaum previously served as founder and president of Artists Television Group, president of Columbia TriaStar Television and exec vp TV at New World Entertainment. During his time at TriStar, he worked on series including Mad About You, The Nanny, The King of Queens and more.
“We’re thrilled to join Kevin, [Lionsgate TV Group president] Sandra [Stern], [executive vp worldwide scripted TV] Chris [Selak] and the rest of the Lionsgate team,” the Tannenbaums said in a joint statement. “Their television business is perfectly aligned with our own approach to creating great programming in an entrepreneurial and talent-friendly environment, and we can hardly wait to contribute to one of the most exciting slates in the industry today.”
Repped by CAA and Del Shaw, the Tannenbaums become the latest producers to exit broadcast’s traditional studio system. In recent months, prolific producers Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Crime Story) and Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) have exited their longtime homes at 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios, respectively, in favor of nine-figure overall deals with Netflix.
While not on that same scale, the Tannenbaums bring decades of experience in comedy with them to Lionsgate Television as the company grows its scripted programming roster. The studio recently signed a first-look TV deal with Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids); Power showrunner Courtney Kemp; Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (Nashville); Joel Silver; and John Goldwyn, among others. Lionsgate TV also had an overall deal with Jenji Kohan, who departed last year for Netflix after delivering hits including Weeds and Orange Is the New Black.
The Tannenbaums exit CBS TV Studios as the David Stapf-led studio is making a sizable expansion into cable and streaming. To that end, earlier this month it hired Storied Media Group’s Whitney Berry to oversee development for cable and streaming. The studio recently landed a Netflix series order for the Liz Feldman comedy Dead to Me, which joins American Vandal, the Susannah Grant/Katie Couric-produced limited series Unbelievable and the Debby Ryan starrer Insatiable at the streaming giant (the latter of which moved to Netflix after The CW passed on the pilot last season). All told, CBS TV Studios has 13 scripted series set up at various premium cable and streaming networks (be they in development or on the air).
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