EXCLUSIVE: Entertainment One has entered a first-look television deal with top film and TV director-producer Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like a Man franchises) and his The Story Company production company.
Through the deal, Story will develop television series for broadcast, cable and streaming. He has hired former Freeform head of development Lynn Barrie to serve as The Story Company’s Head of Television and oversee the pact with eOne.
“Tim is a remarkably talented director and producer who has created some of Hollywood’s most beloved films,” said Michael Lombardo, eOne’s President of Global Television. “We’re delighted to be partnering with him as he continues his exciting expansion into television and look forward to creating even more impactful projects together.”
Lombardo and Story previously worked together at HBO where Story had a first-look deal while the premium network was run by then-President of Programming Lombardo.
“Michael and I have a long history and it feels so great to be back in business again,” said Story, CEO of the Tim Story Company. “I believe with the team that I’ve assembled we can deliver some great programming.”
The deal with Story fits into the overall/first-look deal strategy shift Lombardo implemented when he joined eOne in 2020. Inheriting a roster consisting entirely of non-writing producers, he put a focus on signing deal with talent — writers, directors and actors. Having talent in-house at a time of a great proliferation of content and fierce competition that is limiting access to creative auspices allows for packaging projects that are easier to sell.
Story is coming off a run as an executive producer of ABC’s music-themed freshman drama series Queens whose pilot he directed. He also executive produced two other series whose pilots he helmed, Showtime’s White Famous and Fox’s Standoff, as well as Netflix’s Prince of Peoria.
On the feature side, Story has directed ten major studio films, and eight of them debuted number one at the box office during opening weekend—Tom & Jerry, Ride Along 2, Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and Barbershop. His films have grossed over $1 billion at the box office making him the first ever Black director to cross this milestone mark. He was also the first Black director to direct a Marvel film. Story is repped by UTA and attorney Matt Johnson.
Barrie recently served as SVP Original Programming and Development for Freeform from 2018-21. She oversaw the development of scripted drama and comedy series, including Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Motherland: Fort Salem, the upcoming Single Drunk Female and Everything’s Trash as well as eOne’s breakout drama Cruel Summer, which has been renewed for a second season.
A veteran programming executive, Barrie moved to Freeform from ABC, where she served as VP Comedy Development and shepherded the development and production of scripted comedies including Speechless and The Goldbergs. Previously, Barrie served as SVP Current Programming at ABC Entertainment Group, where she oversaw the production of all scripted dramas and comedies, including The Middle, Modern Family and Happy Endings.
Barrie began her career at 20th Century Fox TV in 2001 as manager, Creative Affairs, and was promoted to director in 2002. In 2005 she was named VP Comedy Development & Creative Affairs, where she oversaw the development of Modern Family and Better Off Ted.
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