Relativity’s television operation, which emerged from bankruptcy in October with new owners and a new business plan, has been formally launched as independent content studio Critical Content. The company, led by Tom Forman and Andrew Marcus, is backed by an investor group led by Anchorage Capital Group, with contributions from Falcon Investments,
The company plans to focus on both unscripted and scripted content for broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. Forman serves as CEO, while Marcus is President and COO. Forman was previously CEO of Relativity TV and Marcus its President. The company is launching with no debt and $75 million of growth capital.
Critical Content currently has more than 50 projects in production for more than 30 different networks. Series include Limitless (CBS), Home Free (Fox), Catfish (MTV), The Woodsmen, (History), Pretty.Strong. (Oxygen), Boonies (Nat Geo), The Great Food Truck Race (Food Network), Tia Mowry at Home (Cooking Channel), and Car Matchmaker (Esquire).
Initially, Critical Content will expand upon the company’s existing “Pod Model” whereby producers receive capital investment and access to infrastructure to supercharge their development and production capabilities. Existing Critical Content Pods include Brian Lando Productions (All Star Academy), Ellen Rakieten Entertainment (Car Matchmaker), The Jay and Tony Show (Restaurant Stakeout), Bill Thompson Entertainment (Breaking Boston) and Alibi Entertainment. As part of today’s news, the company is also announcing new Pod partnerships with producers George Verschoor (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Gunnar Wetterberg (Top Chef), Alex Demanyenko (Tough Enough), and a development partnership with Israel’s Create-IT Studio (Raid The Cage).
“With only a few remaining truly independent production companies, we are well positioned to capitalize on a historic time in the entertainment industry,” Forman said. “Critical really is the best of all worlds — fully independent, totally nimble, and very well financed.”
Like its unscripted business, Critical Content will look to grow its scripted footprint through investments in IP with global appeal and via partnerships with top writers and producers. Already producer of the CBS show Limitless, the company has recently launched production on a new series for Crackle, with additional projects at Epix with Joshua Leonard and Cary Fukunaga, ABC with writer Eric Jendresen, and Nick Jr. with Shuki Levi. The company is also currently developing with Oliver Stone, Nick Cassavetes, Mike Medavoy, Skip Woods and others.
The purchase of the TV assets includes the scripted series rights to several Relativity movie titles: Limitless (Relativity would “retain the right to receive 10% of producer fees”), Haywire (Relativity receives 50% of producer fees), and Act Of Valor (Relativity receives 10% of producer fees).
Based in Los Angeles, Critical Content is expected to expand office space domestically and internationally. The company is represented by WME.