THE CLEANERS An Anti-Case Study: A $1.3 Million Investigative Documentary Wins Sundance Acceptance But Faces Deep Deficit

THE CLEANERS ticked all the boxes. Despite Sundance selection and sales to prestigious broadcasters worldwide, the producers are digging out from a deep deficit. The business model for investigative documentaries has always been risky. It is now under siege… and needs new solutions. That’s the message presented by Christian Beetz, co-CEO of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion …

Discovery For Sale?

Discovery must be in play after AT&T’s recent takeover of Time Warner with its Warner Bros, HBO and Turner programming assets. The newly combined Discovery Scripps venture is valued at more than $34 Bn. That is a stratospheric achievement for a company that forged its initial connection with viewers via off-the-shelf acquisitions like Australian lizard-specialist Harry …


The Development History of NATIVE AMERICA, a $3-4 million Signature PBS Series

NATIVE AMERICA is a premium PBS series that explores the world created by America’s first peoples. It describes their foundational belief systems that synthesize science and spirituality. The 4-part series captures the incredible diversity of the expressions of these beliefs across North, Central and South America. Providence Pictures’ President and Executive Producer/Director, Gary Glassman is …

Program Development & Pitching Trends. Podcast with Michael Hoff

Welcome to my second podcast on the business of the unscripted business. My Guest: Michael Hoff leads Hoff Productions, successfully delivering mainly male-targeted series and specials to dozens of networks for 25 years. In my recent popular post, Michael spelled out the evolving high-stakes world of program development. The Topic: Today’s Pitching Process. Network development execs are …

The Obamas’ Output Deal With Netflix. Takeaways for Producers. A Podcast with StoryCentric’s Ed Hersh

Welcome to the first of my podcasts on the business of the unscripted business. The topic: Barack and Michelle Obama have formed a production company with Netflix‘s backing. The definition of “A-Lister” will never be quite the same when it comes to pitching. What does it mean for producers that the competitive bar to earn your buyers’ …

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Program Development and Pitching in the Online Video Economy. Takeaways from Hoff Productions

The program development process is changing in ways that are very consequential for the profitability of independent producers. That’s the message from Michael Hoff, founder and CEO of Hoff Productions, based in the Bay Area since 1993. Michael has been a great friend and valued supporter of this newsletter. We have been sharing notes about the …