Time Studios, the Emmy-winning TV and film production division of Time, which has generated more than $70M in revenue since its 2020 launch, today announced the expansion of its Documentary division, also introducing a new arm for Kids & Family programming.
Alexandra Johnes and Loren Hammonds have been tapped as Heads of Documentary, with Maria Perez-Brown coming aboard as Head of Kids & Family. Additional new hires and promotions include Rebecca Teitel as VP of Documentary, Rebecca Gitlitz as Director and Showrunner and Jeff Smith as Executive Producer and Showrunner. The Scripted division of Time Studios will be run by Kaveh Veyssi, VP of Film & TV, Time Studios, as part of a strategic alliance with Sugar23, as previously announced.
The new Kids & Family division will build on Time’s success in the space with the Daytime Emmy Award-nominated Kid of the Year television special, recognizing the contributions of extraordinary young leaders in a range of fields, which will return to Nickelodeon in early 2022.
It’s also secured a deal to co-produce a new animated preschool series with the Canadian studio Nelvana, and is in development on TFK’s The Scoop, a news magazine series featuring Puppet Kid Reporters who bring news and current events to kids in tangible, entertaining and age-appropriate ways.
While expanding its doc division, Time Studios today announced the launch of a new eight-figure commitment to greenlight and produce original documentary work, and to invest in external productions that are aligned with the company. It has sold more than 20 documentary projects to streaming services including Netflix, Amazon, Paramount+, and to TV networks and other distributors, including HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC, A&E, Magnolia and CNN Films, in the last 12 months—and has 20 more in production at present.
“We are thrilled to bring this group of talented creators together to continue to bring forth the inspiration and passion of TIME Studios projects, solidifying our mission to impact the world,” said Time Studios President Ian Orefice. “Our growth since launching a little over a year ago has been a remarkable team effort, and we are proud of all we are accomplishing with our incredible partners.”
Johnes is an Emmy winner who produced documentaries for renowned directors including Alex Gibney, Jehane Noujaim, Lauren Greenfield, Lucy Walker and the filmmaking team of Amy Ziering & Kirby Dick, prior to joining Time Studios. She also previously ran Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, paving the way for the company’s 2012 sale to Content Media Corp and subsequent 2020 sale to Imagine Entertainment. Her roster of films includes Neon’s Amazing Grace, HBO Max’s On the Record, CNN Films’ Holy Hell and Netflix’s Oscar-nominated The Square. She also exec produced Robert Eggers’ indie box office hit The Witch for A24 and Universal, and is a voting member of the Academy.
Hammonds most recently served as VP of Immersive Programming at Tribeca Enterprises and Senior Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival. He has worked extensively in production as well as in various curatorial roles for The Gotham (formerly IFP), POV, Tribeca All-Access, and Hamptons International Film Festival. Hammonds has helped to guide numerous feature documentaries to successful world premieres, including Amazon’s A Suitable Girl, MTV Films’ 17 Blocks, Magnolia’s Stray, and Mass Appeal/Showtime’s Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James. This year, he exec produced Ricky Powell: The Individualist with Time Studios.
Perez-Brown previously founded Brown Kids Media, where she developed content for television brands including Nickelodeon, Disney, Sesame Workshop and Nelvana. She is the creator and executive producer of Nickelodeon’s Taina and the award-winning pre-school series Gullah Gullah Island. Perez-Brown also previously served as Head of Programming for NuvoTV, where she oversaw development of content for their linear and digital channel. As an Adjunct professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, she taught writing, and the Art of the Pitch. She is the author of Mama: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers and co-author of Latino Leaders Speak.
Teitel currently focuses on the development and production of feature documentaries and non-scripted television. Prior to joining Time Studios, she worked as a director, producer and journalist, with her work featured on National Geographic, The Sundance Channel, Discovery, NBC, The History Channel, BET and The New York Times.
Gitlitz is a two-time Emmy-winning producer and director who has directed documentaries on Pat Summit, Peyton Manning, Robin Roberts, Caitlyn Jenner, LeBron James, and Arthur Ashe. She recently helmed ABC primetime special, The Story of Diana, which was watched by an audience of more than 20 million upon its 2017 airing. She also directed The Story of the Royals, The Story of Soaps and Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days. Gitlitz also produced Marvel’s Hero Project for Disney+, along with Kid of the Year and Person of the Year.
Smith is a showrunner and executive producer who has led production on such major events as TIME Person of the Year, the ESPY Awards, NFL Honors, TIME Kid of the Year, Fox New Year’s Eve and the ACLU benefit Stand For Rights. He recently was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that honored over 140 Sister Survivors on the ESPYS stage.
Upcoming projects from Time Studios include Clarence “Coodie” Simmons’ and Chike Ozah’s Jeen-Yuhs: The Kanye West Trilogy, which will land on Netflix next year; HBO’s Katrina Babies, from first-time director Edward Buckles, Jr.; 10-point docuseries The Tipping Point from Trevor Noah’s Day Zero Productions, Sugar23 and P&G Studios; the Netflix docuseries Big Vape directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Amblin Entertainment; A&E’s Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution; Showtime’s Ricky Powell: The Individualist; CBS/Paramount+’s limited docuseries Black Gold, co-produced with Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa; and Alex Winter’s feature doc Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube. Its miniseries Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, directed by Jason Hehir, is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
Time Studios is in development, on the scripted side, on Women of the Year, a series created for Amazon by Honey Boy director Alma Har’el.
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