EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Prods., which made its first foray into television with the ABC midseaosn drama The River, is putting down TV roots with its first television deal, a first-look pact with Lionsgate TV. Under the deal, Blumhouse will develop and produce series projects for both broadcast and cable. The company has enlisted the help of veteran producer/TV executive Gerard Bocaccio, who will join Blumhouse as a consultant overseeing TV development. Blum is already in business with Lionsgate on the feature side — Blumhouse is also producing the upcoming Lionsgate/Summit release Sinister. “Jason has had great success in recognizing and developing the kind of daring and distinctive material that defines and drives the Lionsgate brand,” said Lionsgate TV Group president Kevin Beggs. “He’s one of the most dynamic and prolific producers in the business and we’re excited to be working with him.”
Blumhouse has built its business on micro-budgeted movies developed and produced for mainstream distribution as exemplified by the company’s blockbuster Paranormal Activity franchise. The first Paranormal Activity film was made for $15,000 and went on to gross $183 million worldwide. Blum did it with another successful genre movie, last year’s Insidious, and in November, along with producer Paul Brooks, he signed a first-look distribution deal with Universal for low-budget genre films, which has the first movie already in production, Vigilandia starring Ethan Hawke. Blum hopes to figure out a lower-cost model for television too. “Our first-look TV deal with Lionsgate allows us to expand on our ultra-low-budget production model as we further establish our presence in television,” he said. “With this new deal in place, and the addition of Gerard to our production team, Blumhouse is well positioned for further growth and success.” The River, whose second episode airs tonight, reunited many key Paranormal Activity players — Blum, Oren Peli, Steven Schneider and DreamWorks TV, whose feature sibling distributed the movie. Bocaccio was former President of Television for Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures and executive producer of cult CBS drama Moonlight. Before that, he served as SVP Entertainment at FX.