Mark Burg and Michael Menchel’s Evolution Entertainment is expanding its partnership with Lionsgate beyond the Charlie Sheen comedy Anger Management, which the two companies are producing together. Evolution has signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate to develop and produce television programming. The pact marks the launch of Evolution’s new television division, which will be overseen by recently hired SVP Rachel Israel. “We have enjoyed an extraordinary collaboration with Evolution on Anger Management so expanding the scope of our relationship with Mark, Mike and their team made perfect sense,” said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group. “They embody the kind of creative spirit and entrepreneurial acumen that define and drive the Lionsgate brand and we look forward to developing many more projects together.”
As Sheen’s longtime manager, Evolution is a producer of Two and a Half Men and Anger Management, with Burg serving as an executive producer on both series. Following a successful 10-episode run on FX last summer, Anger Management kicks off its 90-episode back order tomorrow night for a virtually uninterrupted two-year run. The series has already been sold in broadcast syndication to Fox Television Stations for fall 2014. “Our partnership with Lionsgate on Anger Management has proven to be everything we hoped for, and this new agreement is an exciting next step as we look to broaden our reach in television for both our clients and the larger community,” said Evolution principal Burg and President Menchel.
Independent management and production company Evolution Entertainment was co-founded by Burg and Oren Koules in 1998. Burg’s feature credits include Lionsgate’ hit Saw horror franchise, co-produced by Evolution’s Twisted Pictures genre label. Menchel joined Burg as Evolution president in 2011. Prior to that, he spent more than 20 years as an agent/manager at CAA and AMG, before moving on to become an independent producer. Israel comes to Evolution after a long tenure with Teri Wenberg, first at Reveille as director of scripted programming, then at NBC as manager of comedy programming, and most recently at Weinberg’s independent production company Yellow Brick Road, where she was VP of programming. Joining Israel is Meghan Mathes, who has been promoted to manager of development for the new TV division. Mathes has been part of the Evolution team for three years.