CBS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH DENISE DI NOVI AND NINA TASSLER'S PATMA PRODUCTIONS
PatMa and CBS TV Studios Developing "American Martyrs" for SHOWTIME(R);
Limited Series Based on Epic Novel from Joyce Carol Oates
CBS Corporation announced today a strategic partnership with PatMa Productions, a multiplatform independent production company aimed at amplifying diverse voices, led by former CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler and film/television producer Denise Di Novi. As part of the agreement, CBS has acquired an ownership stake in PatMa.
In the new venture, CBS platforms will have a first look at new PatMa programming developed for the broadcast and premium markets. CBS Studios will co-finance and co-produce projects set up at the CBS Television Network, SHOWTIME and CBS All Access, and serve as the worldwide distributor.
At the same time, PatMa will continue to operate as an independent production company with the ability to sell to all buyers across the broadcast, cable and streaming markets. Ms. Tassler and Ms. Di Novi will continue to lead all of the company's operations along with the recently announced new president of their venture, Joan Boorstein.
Projects already in development as part of the partnership include "American Martyrs" a limited series for SHOWTIME based on Joyce Carol Oates' epic 2017 novel, A Book of American Martyrs - a moving portrait of two families whose lives collide when a politically charged act of violence rips both apart. The series is being written by Winnie Holzman ("Wicked," "Roadies," "Once and Again," "My So-Called Life," "thirtysomething") and Savannah Dooley ("Nashville"), who will serve as executive producers along with Ms. Tassler, Ms. Di Novi, Debra Greenfield and Linda Kent.
"Nina and Denise are accomplished, creative leaders and proven producers who are respected across the industry for their artistic vision as well as their strong social consciousness," said David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS Corporation, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks, Inc. "We are excited to partner with them to create programming that speaks to a wide range of audiences across all of our platforms, as well as others."
"We could not have found a better or more supportive partner than CBS in our endeavor to create social relevance and commercial entertainment. A Book of American Martyrs is the perfect beginning. We are thrilled to have a writer of Winnie Holzman's stature bringing the work of the esteemed Joyce Carol Oates to the screen," said Ms. Tassler and Ms. Di Novi.
PatMa Productions, launched in January 2018 by Ms. Di Novi and Ms. Tassler, is named after their mothers, Pat and Norma. The company creates content for all entertainment platforms, including film, television, theater, digital and publishing, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The company has formed strategic relationships with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Center for Popular Democracy, Planned Parenthood and others.
Ms. Tassler was president and then chairman of CBS Entertainment for 12 years, through 2015. During her tenure, she developed such hit series as "The Big Bang Theory," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The Good Wife," "How I Met Your Mother," MOM, MADAM SECRETARY and BLUE BLOODS, and CBS was the most-watched network for 11 seasons. She also assembled a senior staff that was 50% female and helped establish CBS Entertainment's first Diversity, Inclusion and Communications department.
Ms. Di Novi, recipient of Women in Film's 2016 Crystal + Lucy Award for Excellence in Film, has produced a number of female-driven films, including "Heathers," "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." She also produced "Batman Returns," "Edward Scissorhands," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Ed Wood" and "James and the Giant Peach" - all with Tim Burton. Ms. Di Novi also produced "Focus" starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie and is a producer on the upcoming "Little Women" directed by Greta Gerwig, which will be released Christmas 2019. She has directed the feature film "Unforgettable" from Warner Bros. starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl, as well as episodes of "Sneaky Pete," "Outlander" and RAY DONOVAN. Ms. Di Novi was executive producer of the CBS series "The District."
PatMa Productions is represented by Cliff Gilbert-Lurie at Ziffren Brittenham LLP.