Lionsgate & Bell Media Strike Comedy & Drama Series Co-Development Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate and Canada’s Bell Media are deepening their ties and signing a deal to co-develop comedy and drama television series aimed at the global market.

A multi-year agreement will see Lionsgate become global distributor outside Canada for select Bell original programs produced in English and French, including those co-developed together. In Canada, Bell with have the distribution rights.

The pair plans to find “unique” projects that are “relevant and relatable to audiences worldwide,” with their deal coming on the back of international hits from Canada such as Schitt’s Creek, which Canada-domiciled Lionsgate sells in the U.S.

The two companies are already very familiar. Bell has a long-term deal in place to distribute the first pay window of Lionsgate’s theatrical releases in Canada, while Lionsgate’s Starz play platform was launched in the country via Bell.

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Furthermore, Bell’s streaming service Crave is the exclusive Canadian home of Lionsgate Television and HBO Max shows Minx, starring Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson, and Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick and William Jackson Harper. Lionsgate recently struck an overall deal with breakout comedy Minx‘s creator, showrunner and writer Ellen Rapoport.

“We’re delighted to expand our longstanding partnership with Bell Media, the team behind some of Canada’s most-acclaimed original programming,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television Distribution Jim Packer. “Canadian series are resonating with a global audience, and Bell Media is a leader in creating shows that work in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. This agreement allows us to create strategic value by responding to the ever-growing demand for content internationally while building on our position as a top creator and distributor of premium scripted content for the Canadian marketplace.”

“We are happy to be working with Lionsgate to build on our productive partnership with the development and distribution of select original content, globally,” said Karine Moses, Bell’s Senior Vice President, Content Development and News, and Vice-Chair, Québec.

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