This latest deal for Franklin Leonard’s script service comes about six months after a tie-up with Warner Bros, which resulted in a two-step WGA minimum deal worth about $93,000 for Tasha Huo, who was a Universal assistant at the time. Today’s announcement marks the first TV network deal for the Black List, which is expanding into episodic content in its quest discover writers from underserved demos. Here’s the release:
TNT and TBS are partnering with The Black List on an initiative to promote diversity in the industry by identifying talented writers to develop scripts and concepts for the networks. TNT and TBS are the first television networks to team up with the Black List following the site’s expansion into episodic content. The networks will be looking for writers from diverse backgrounds for possible blind script deals and staffing consideration on TBS and TNT series, with the goal of signing script deals with particularly strong writers in the half-hour comedy and hour-long drama genres.
The Black List is an online community where video content creators find scripts to make and writers to write them and where writers find producers, studios and networks to make their scripts and employ them. Since its launch in October 2012, the Black List has hosted more than 10,000 screenplays and teleplays and has completed more than 13,000 script evaluations. More than 40 writers have found representation at major agencies and management companies, while more than 20 writers have sold their scripts as a direct result of introductions made via the site. At any given moment, more than 2,000 screenplays and teleplays are being actively hosted on the site for perusal by over 2,300 film industry professionals, ranging from agency assistants to studio chairs and network heads.
As part of its program with TNT and TBS, the Black List will solicit teleplays to be evaluated via the Black List website by its community of industry professionals and readers. The Black List will then provide TNT and TBS with a short list of five finalists in each genre. The finalists will be chosen based on criteria the networks provide and on the evaluations received. The networks will then have the option to offer blind script deals. The list of finalists may also be shared with TBS and TNT’s current showrunners, who will have the option to offer staff positions.
“As we continue to expand the original programming lineups for TNT and TBS, it’s important that we forge partnerships not only with established producers but also with fresh talent,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We’re confident that through this initiative with the Black List, we’re going to find an abundance of exciting, highly creative work from a wide array of emerging writers.”
In addition to TNT and TBS, the Black List iscurrently partnered with the Writers Guild of America, East; the Writers Guild America, West; the Sundance Institute; and Warner Bros Pictures.