New York-based Leopard USA, part of the global Argonon Group, has named Simon McKeown as the production company’s first Chief Creative Officer. McKeown has worked in both the U.S. and UK and at Leopard will develop a slate of formatted series and follow docs for the U.S. market. He also will oversee the existing slate, which includes House Hunters International (HGTV), Man Caves (DIY) and The Filthy Rich Guide (CNBC). The exec joins from Eastern Production, where he was SVP Development. He formerly was at Nutopia, where he developed Britain’s Biggest Adventures With Bear Grylls (ITV) and The Jesus Code (CNN) and ran the development department for the UK’s Love Productions, the company behind The Great American Bake Off (CBS) and the controversial Benefits Street (Channel 4).
Jive Communications, a Canadian boutique firm specializing in film and entertainment PR, has expanded into the U.S., opening a new office in Santa Monica. Adding the shingle will allow Jive to help Canadian film and TV clients to build their presence in the U.S. They include Toronto-based Buck Productions, CineCoup, the Whistler Film Festival, Creative BC and the Vancouver International Film Festival. Founded in 2009 with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Jive was self-funded by brand specialist Almira Bardai and entertainment PR vet Lindsay Nahmiache.
Singapore-based Bomanbridge Media has closed a deal with NBCUniversal International Networks for Pan-Asian broadcast rights to paranormal investigative series The R.I.P. Files. Bomanbridge handles distribution in Asia for New Dominion, which holds the worldwide rights to The R.I.P. Files. The series follows paranormal detectives, based in Washington D.C., who use their psychic abilities and deep knowledge of metaphysical techniques to interact with the entities they encounter at haunted locations. Two seasons of 10 episodes each were picked up by NBCU.