Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens’ TV studio Propagate is bolstering its business in Europe after investing in Incognita, the French production company run by former Europacorp Deputy CEO Edouard de Vesinne.
Silverman tells Deadline that it is the first of a number of international investment deals that he hopes Propagate will make this year as it looks to create a “global content powerhouse”. Next up, he is targeting business in Latin America, Asia, India and the Middle East. This comes after the firm received investment from the Raine Group earlier this year.
Incognita will help spearhead Propagate’s European production efforts, focusing on global premium scripted drama. The two companies will work together to package big dramas for local and global audiences and take advantage of the increasing demand for programming from all over the world. The series will be then be distributed by Propagate’s international distribution division, which is run by Cyrus Farrokh.
De Vesinne left Paris-based Europacorp in September 2017 after having spent around 18 months in the role. He previously ran Europacorp’s TV division, where he produced such series as the Taken adaptation for NBC, Taxi Brooklyn and Section Zero. Incognita already has some developments signed with France Télévisions and Amazon and is currently developing a number of international English-language and French shows.
Silverman and De Vesinne have known each other for over ten years since the former picked up French action series XIII, starring Val Kilmer, when he was running NBC.
Propagate, the A+E Networks-backed firm that was set up in 2015, has 17 series in production and 40 projects in development at over 21 networks and streaming services, including Apple’s first series Planet of the Apps, and series at Amazon, Netflix. It is currently working on its first straight to series scripted order, Blood & Treasure, for CBS and a remake of Charmed for The CW. Silverman also tells Deadline that it is in the process of setting up a podcast studio, featuring both scripted and non-scripted projects, to act as an IP incubator, coming off the back of its Lore series with Gale Anne Hurd and having sold Up and Vanished to Oxygen and Sword and Scale to a streaming service.
“The investment from Raine allows us to expand our production efforts globally and invest in best in class producers like Edouard and Incognita. Our aim is to produce and deliver premium content to worldwide television audiences,” said Silverman and Owens. “Edouard is one of the leading film and television producers in Europe with over two decades of experience. His instincts and relationships with broadcasters across Europe will make for a powerful partnership.”
“I have known and worked with Ben for over a decade now, and he is an exceptional visionary and producer in the business. Combined with Howard and Ben’s unbelievable track record and the Propagate team’s tenacity, I am confident that Incognita will be able to tackle the creative and commercial challenges posed by the ever-evolving French and European market. I am incredibly thrilled about his partnership, as it will strengthen our creativity and enable us to produce premium quality scripted content for all audiences across Europe,” de Vesinnes added.