Topic Studios and Mermade, the brand new digitally-focused arm of Merman, today announced a first-look deal to develop and produce premium content for the short form arena. Working with top tier and emerging filmmakers and talent, Topic and Mermade will collaborate on scripted and non-scripted series. This is the first content partnership for the newly-announced Mermade, the sister production company to Merman which was founded and run by award-winning duo Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with such a well-respected brand in the industry in their new venture. Our companies strongly share the same ethos and values, so it made perfect sense to collaborate,” said Michael Bloom, CEO of First Look Media, parent company of Topic Studios. “Mermade is a perfect partner to help enhance our studio’s commitment to short form content, an area we continue to be extremely bullish about.”
“There isn’t a better production partner for Mermade than Topic Studios. They share our company’s values and the dedication to producing smart, conversation-starting content that is reflective of our times,” said Kira Carstensen, Global Managing Partner of Mermade.
L-R Jeremy Rainbird, Kira Carstensen, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford
In 2017, Topic Studios commissioned short form series aka Wyatt Cenac, written by and starring comedian Wyatt Cenac. It debuted on topic.com, First Look Media’s visual storytelling site, and was nominated for a 2018 Emmy Award for Best Short Form Comedy/Drama Series. Topic Studios’ short form work has been accepted at various prestigious film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, and has won awards at multiple festivals in the U.S. and internationally. Lisa Leingang, SVP of Programming & Content, will oversee the project for Topic Studios.
Television projects in development at Topic Studios include: STATES OF AMERICA from writer Tom King and producer Playground Entertainment; the dramatic series ATOMIC BAZAAR about the underground world of nuclear trafficking with Pulse Films and written by Greg Burke (71, 7 Days in Entebbe); HUNGER, a contemporary global thriller written about the dangerous business of the global food industry written by Alex Garcia Lopez (Utopia, Walking Dead); GOLD FAME CITRUS, a dystopian thriller set amidst a massive drought that has turned residents of the Southwest US into refugees written by Jack Paglen (Alien: Covenant); and THE APOTHECARY, based on the bestselling YA trilogy by Maile Meloy, written by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett (Big Mouth, Wimbledon).Topic Studios also co-financed Debra Granik’s critically acclaimed LEAVE NO TRACE and the political documentary DARK MONEY from director Kimberly Reed, both currently in theaters.
Mermade is sister to the Emmy-Nominated and BAFTA-winning Merman, with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York. It combines the best elements of storytelling, creative excellence and groundbreaking shows you would expect from Merman, with a new team excelling in the digital realm. Mermade’s focus is on the new world of content viewing and pushing innovation wherever it can.
Merman produces award-winning comedy for major broadcasters in the UK and US, including 4 series of Catastrophe for Channel 4 and Amazon, Motherland for BBC, and Divorce for HBO. Merman are set to launch two brand new series this season, Women on the Verge for UKTV and There She Goes for BBC. Merman announced a first-look deal with Amazon Studios earlier this year, and are in development on a new half hour comedy series for the streaming network created by Sharon Horgan, John Hamburg & Ian Helfer to star Horgan and Billy Magnussen.