RHI Entertainment Inc. has rebranded as Sonar Entertainment Inc. and appointed Stewart Till CEO, board chairman Gabriel de Alba announced at MIPTV in Cannes. The company also unveiled a package of disaster-themed and other miniseries, regular series and and a quartet of two-hour TV movies. Following the departure of Robert Halmi Jr. last summer, Till had served as co-interim CEO with Mike Corrigan and David Salzman. Robert Halmi Sr. exited in February. De Alba described Till as “the ideal executive to lead Sonar into the future.” Till added that “We have spent many months preparing for this moment and I am excited to say that we are hitting the ground running with a number of major programming announcements – and more to come shortly.”
From the release:
• Disaster Pack, Volume One – Sonar will distribute five four-hour mini-series, all with disaster themes. These include Category 8 (the sun’s inner core sends massive meteors toward earth); Eve of Destruction (terrorists blow up the London to Paris Chunnel); Dark Universe (dark energy technology falls into the wrong hands and threatens global destruction); Shockwave (disaster strikes the world’s first commercial space flight); and World on Fire (an oil company drills into the ocean floor — causing a massive undersea eruption).
• MPH – Sonar has reached an agreement with award-winning producer, director and screenwriter Steven E. De Souza to develop the one-hour original action-adventure series MPH. MPH focuses on an international law enforcement unit (Mobile Pursuit and Harassment) that goes undercover as high-risk performers in a monster truck stunt show to gain access to nations and regions that are off limits to FBI or Interpol agents. This is a back-door pilot with the potential to go to series. The award winning De Souza, who is also an executive producer on the project, is one of the few screenwriters in Hollywood whose films have earned over two billion dollars at the box office. His credits include Die Hard and Die Hard 2, 48 hours and Another 48 Hours, The Running Man, Judge Dredd and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Television credits include Knight Rider, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
• King Tut – Sonar is partnering with Muse Entertainment to co-develop and distribute this epic eight-hour mini-series based on the life of King Tut. The mini-series captures Tut’s captivating rise to power, his efforts to rule a chaotic empire and the mystery surrounding his untimely death.
• The Hunters – Sonar anticipates partnering with Kickstart Productions to distribute this two-hour back-door pilot. Inspired by the successful independent graphic novel Mirror Mirror by Joshua Williamson (DC Comics’ Uncharted), The Hunters is the story of a secret society with a mission to find the broken shards of the magic mirror Snow White shattered hundreds of years ago. It’s a race against time as the mirror’s pieces, now hidden across the world, have the potential to be harnessed for great evil. Sonar has all global TV distribution rights while ARC Entertainment has rights to the US DVD.
• Bomb Girls – Sonar has acquired distribution rights to Bomb Girls, Canada’s most watched new original drama series of the 2012 season to date. Territories included in the agreement are Spain, Germany, Australia and Asia. Already renewed for a second season, Bomb Girls stars Meg Tilly (The Big Chill), Ali Liebert (Apollo 18) and Anastasia Philips (Skins). The 18 one-hour episodes, which are set on the home front during World War II, follow the stories of the women who put their lives at risk in munitions factories, building bombs for the war effort. Bomb Girls is produced by Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Film Productions, in association with Shaw Media.
Sonar will distribute the following two-hour movies to the international market:
• After All These Years – Based on Susan Isaacs’ New York Times bestselling novel Compromising Positions, this is the story of a husband who announces on his 25th wedding anniversary that he is leaving his wife for another woman. When the man is later found murdered, the wife becomes the prime suspect. Can she clear her name and, in the process, what other secrets will she discover?
• Christmas Heart – Just days before Christmas, Mike and Ann Norman receive devastating news when they discover that only an immediate heart transplant can save their son’s life. Then fate conspires to connect a stranger’s tragic end with their son’s need. With only hours to spare, it will take a Christmas miracle and the empowering strength of a community to save the life of one young man with just one holiday wish.
• Good Scouts – A self-absorbed real estate agent is forced to take a community service sentence she never expected—troop leader of a band of misfit girls in a scouting group known as the Fireflies. With the annual baked goods fundraiser approaching, the Fireflies find themselves in a head-to-head battle with a cut-throat troop notorious for leaving the competition in crumbs. Using her professional skills, Julie is determined to close the deal, help the girls and maybe even learn a few things about herself.
• Meddling Mom – In this romantic comedy, two sisters figure the best way to keep their pushy mother out of their lives is to help her find a love of her own. They believe they have found the perfect man, but, unfortunately, love is never that simple. Have they set up their mother for a fall or is there still a chance that this love story could have a happy ending? Meddling Mom stars Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Saundra Santiago (The Sopranos) and Tony Plana (Ugly Betty).
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