CBS has taken an ownership stake in and struck a first-look deal with PatMa Productions, the production company set up by former CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler and Heathers and Batman Returns producer Denise Di Novi. The indie has set its first project through the deal – an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ abortion novel A Book of American Martyrs for Showtime.
Tassler and Di Novi, who had previously worked together on CBS drama The District, set up PatMa at the start of last year with a focus on amplifying diverse voices. As part of the strategic partnership, CBS platforms, including the broadcast network, pay network Showtime and CBS All Access, will have a first-look at PatMa programming and CBS Studios will co-finance and co-produce projects set up with these platforms with CBS Studios International acting as international distributor.
However, PatMa will continue to operate as an independent production company with the ability to sell to all buyers across the broadcast, cable and streaming markets. Tassler and Di Novi will continue to lead the company’s operations along president Joan Boorstein.
The adaptation of A Book of American Martyrs, which is a portrait of two families on either sides of the abortion debate, whose lives collide when a politically charged act of violence rips both apart, is being penned by Wicked and My So-Called Life writer Winnie Holzman and Nashville’s Savannah Dooley. American Martyrs, which is in development with Showtime, will be exec produced by Holzman, Dooley, Tassler, Di Novi, Debra Greenfield and Linda Kent.
“Nina and Denise are accomplished, creative leaders and proven producers who are respected across the industry for their artistic vision as well as their strong social consciousness,” said David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS Corporation, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks, Inc. “We are excited to partner with them to create programming that speaks to a wide range of audiences across all of our platforms, as well as others.”
“We could not have found a better or more supportive partner than CBS in our endeavor to create social relevance and commercial entertainment. A Book of American Martyrs is the perfect beginning. We are thrilled to have a writer of Winnie Holzman’s stature bringing the work of the esteemed Joyce Carol Oates to the screen,” said Tassler and Di Novi.
PatMa Productions is represented by Cliff Gilbert-Lurie at Ziffren Brittenham.