EXCLUSIVE: Abrams Artists Agency has come aboard to represent all rights — licensing, publishing, television, film and multimedia — for the legendary Grizzly Adams brand. John “Grizzly” Adams was a Boston-educated man who moved west to search for gold and became a hunter/tracker. He ended up becoming a conservationist who lived with grizzly bears. His life story spawned a film as well as a beloved television series back in the 1970s that starred Dan Haggerty.
Deadline first wrote about the rights being available in June which prompted several interested parties to inquire about it here so clearly people are connecting with the nostalgia of the brand, however, this is the first time an agency has come aboard to handle the rights sales. The agency’s licensing division will collaborate with Tod Swindell, the owner of the “Grizzly” Adams brand rights.
The move comes after Swindell established Grizzly Adams LLC in 2011 to revitalize the well-known brand and began collaborating with MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 executive producer Michael Greenburg. Swindell also worked closely with the late Charles Sellier, who oversaw The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams, which as a feature film in 1974, grossed more than $45M. Adjusted for inflation that would be around $219M. The film was adapted into a popular series on NBC in 1977 and 1978, so the original Grizzly Adams film and television franchise, and its licensed products, generated more than $140 million in gross revenue.
“ ‘Grizzly’ Adams is an iconic outdoorsman, and both his real history and his legend remain inspirations that influence contemporary popular culture,” said Harry Abrams, CEO of Abrams Artists Agency, which also represents the casts and producers of the top “bearded reality” TV series on television, including Discovery’s Gold Rush and the History channel’s Mountain Men. “As such an amazing part of American history, ‘Grizzly’ Adams presents a great opportunity to create a robust lifestyle brand with strong appeal to today’s consumers.”
Abrams Artists Agency plans to work across multiple divisions, including its literary, licensing, theatrical, and digital and alternative programming groups in Los Angeles and New York to develop a broad-based ”Grizzly” Adams franchise.