Starlings Entertainment and StoryFirst have partnered for a drama and family entertainment development fund, with Starlings also taking a financial stake in StoryFirst.
The joint venture will enable the companies to mutual select drama, family entertainment and possibly even non-scripted projects currently in development to move forward.
As part of the deal, which was announced by Starlings’ CEO and executive producer Karine Martin and StoryFirst’s founder Peter Gerwe (pictured above), they also announced two projects: the first is “The Manager,” a music-infused look at life in the 1970s and ’80s inspired by (and featuring the music of) Eric Clapton and other artists of the era. The second is murder mystery “Sherlock’s Daughter,” in which the famous detective’s fictional daughter sets about tracking down her dad.
Martin and Gerwe will work in tandem with Starlings’ recently promoted entertainment executive vice president, Patricia Brown, and television president-executive producer Chris Philip together with StoryFirst managers Lord Michael Grade (formerly chairman of the BBC) and Ivan Dunleavy (formerly CEO of Pinewood Group).
Brown and Premila Hoon, a financier represening StoryFirst, will act as the companies’ development fund liaisons.
“This will allow us to tap into an additional pipeline of great projects on top of the tremendous success we have had to date with Starlings Television, further grow our ability to finance development and expand our respective networks,” Martin said. “StoryFirst is well established in the UK and Europe, which provides us with access to Peter, Michael and Ivan’s market insights, experience and extraordinary talent, partner and financing relationships.”
Gerwe said: “Our joint venture allows StoryFirst to expand our global reach with Starlings, which is very well positioned in the U.S. and Canada. Karine and Chris bring us a depth of experience and contacts, and it has been a pleasure to work with them and their entire team on several projects. We believe this partnership will greatly benefit each company’s development potential and resources, and see it as a great fit.”
“Sherlock’s Daughter” is written by Brendan Foley (“Cold Courage”) and executive produced by James Duff (“The Closer”) alongside Philip, Martin and Grade.
Also on the slate at Starlings are second season renewals for “Departure” (Peacock) and “Pandora” (The CW) as well as “The Club,” based on a successful South Korean format and starring Don Lee (“Eternals”), and Romanov spy thriller “Red Winter,” written by Stephen Kronish (“24”).