NEW YORK, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ben Silverman's multimedia entertainment studio Electus, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), today unveiled highlights of its scripted television programming slate. These include the priority titles from an ever-growing slate that will be brought to market at MIPTV in Cannes, France, which begins on April 1st. This new block of television programming includes original series concepts developed by Electus and its creative partners, as well as successful third party international formats that Electus has acquired for both international distribution and U.S. production.
"From comedies and dramas to epic action/adventure series, our diverse set of scripted programming demonstrates our Company's ongoing commitment to creating premium, creative content that resonates with TV audiences around the world," said Chris Grant, CEO of Electus. "We look forward to working with our domestic and international partners to bring these stories to life on a global scale."
Electus' block of original scripted programming includes:
- MARCO POLO: Written and created by John Fusco, Marco Polo is a fantastical new martial arts epic about the thirteenth century explorer, chronicling the famous adventurer's early years in the court of Kublai Khan. Conscripted into service as the ruler's spy, ambassador, and explorer, young Polo is trained in the scholar-warrior tradition of thirteenth century China. In a court filled with political betrayal and forbidden relationships, Marco must use his martial arts training to survive, but it is his ability to enchant Khan with imaginative tales of his kingdom that is often his best tool to stay alive. Marco Polo is a series order (10 hours) with Starz in association with The Weinstein Company that will air in the U.S. on Starz Premium Network. Electus (Ben Silverman, Jimmy Fox), The Weinstein Company (Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Meryl Poster), John Fusco and Dave Erickson (Son's of Anarchy) will executive produce. Erickson will co-show run the epic adventure series with Fusco. Electus and The Weinstein Company will co-distribute Marco Polo internationally.
- CASCA: Based on the cult favorite book series by Barry Sadler, this action/adventure series follows Casca, a soldier who was cursed into a life of immortality by Jesus Christ on the day of the crucifixion. For 2000 years, Casca has battled the Brotherhood of the Lamb with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, becoming history's ultimate warrior. Now in present day, the Biblical signs and wonders are returning, and the Second Coming is at last at hand. Casca will need to find and protect the chosen mother to insure the Messiah's birth, and, with it, his own merciful death. Jason Smilovic (My Own Worst Enemy, Kidnapped and Lucky Number Slevin) will write the pilot and executive produce. Electus (Ben Silverman, Jimmy Fox), Michael Taddross, Jr. and Phil Ferrara will executive produce.
- THE LAM: Written, directed and executive produced by Wayne Kramer (The Cooler), The Lam is a dark drama set in modern day Chicago centered around The Lambert Arms, a full service hotel for criminals. Whether it is money laundering, rescue from the scene of a crime or identity transformation, the hotel offers a refuge for criminals on "the lam." The show's lead character is Phil Donagan, the hotel's general manager who must deal with the Chicago mob heads, the crooked cops and the criminals staying under his watch, all the while trying to shield his wife and young daughter from his work life. The Lam is executive produced by Electus (Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Jimmy Fox), Chris Philip (Engine Entertainment), Kramer and Renee Tab of Sentient. Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. is the Canadian Production Company on the series with Executive Producers, Joel S. Rice and Michael Prupas.
- CRUX: Written by Rod Lurie and Marc Frydman (Commander in Chief, Straw Dogs, The Last Castle, The Contender), The Crux is a drama whose revolutionary concept explores the mystery surrounding George Gabbler, a polished and enigmatic cult leader. The series traces Gabbler's past from his shady beginnings as a community college art professor to his transformation into a powerful, charismatic leader whose empire of 55,000 followers worldwide now threatens to unravel. The Crux is executive produced by Electus (Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Jimmy Fox), Chris Philip (Engine Entertainment), Kevin Spacey and Scott Lambert. Shaftesbury is the Canadian Production Company on the series.
- WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR: Created by hit director Pierre Morel (Taken) and British writer Stewart Harcourt (Jericho), William the Conqueror is a historical epic series following the iconic French monarch through his rise to power and invasion of England in 1066. The series will be infused with a contemporary style, depicting The Conqueror as the world's first gangster. Electus (Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Jimmy Fox), Chris Philip (Engine Entertainment), Pierre Morel and Renee Tab will executive produce.
Electus has also acquired the rights to distribute various successful international formats for global and domestic distribution, including:
- BLUE NATALIE: Based off of an Israeli format (DBS) created by Avner Bernheimer and Guy Sidis, Blue Natalie is a dynamic drama series centered around a family who runs a busy sex trafficking business out of their yacht (Blue Natalie) that is supposedly used to accommodate honeymooning couples, bar mitzvah parties and birthday celebrations. The series highlights the events that befall the main characters as the world of women trafficking and prostitution runs parallel with the normative, bourgeois lives they lead with their families. Electus has set the format up in the U.S. with Lifetime Network. Wendy West (Dexter, The Closer, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) will write and executive produce the adaptation.
- WORLD'S END: Based off of a successful Icelandic format (Channel 2) produced and created by Sagafilm, World's End is a dark comedy set in 1992 at an isolated mental hospital on the outskirts of Reykjavík. The hospital, referred to as 'World's End' is a last resort for many mental patients, many of whom consider it a home. Elementary school teacher, Einar, is committed against his will after a severe nervous breakdown during which he had to be coaxed down from a rooftop, stark naked. Einar is unhappy about his stay at the hospital. He is critical about how things are run and before long he's gotten most of the patients on his side, rooting for change. Finally, fed up with his arguments falling on deaf ears, he stages a revolution and takes over the hospital, declaring it a state within a state, a Utopia for the mentally ill.
- ZANZURI: Based of off of a successful Israeli format (DBS) created by Yuval Fridman, Yuval Semo and Ben Bachar, Zanzuri centers on Pini Zanzuri, an average family man who suffers a heart attack at a surprise party on his 40th birthday and discovers that every man in his family has died of a heart failure at that same age. Pini comes to grips with his fate in a very short time and decides to go for it, making a promise to himself that he will use the time he has left to realize any dream or fantasy he has ever had. Electus has set the format up in the U.S. with Viacom's TV Land. Writer Jon Sherman (Frasier, Royal Pains) will write and executive produce the adaptation.
Electus is the first integrated multimedia entertainment studio to unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. Headed by Ben Silverman in partnership with IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], the company connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling marketers and advertisers to be a true partner in campaigns and content creation. Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, is responsible for all international sales and distribution for Electus' programming and its studio partners as well as programs and formats from other well-known 3rd party providers. For more information on Electus, visit www.electus.com.