Topic Studios Taps Quan Phung To Head Original Series As Company Ramps Up Scripted TV Efforts

Topic Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Topic Studios has brought in veteran scripted development executive Quan Phung as SVP Original Series.

Phung is tasked with building a scripted content team in Los Angeles following Topic’s recent decision to relocate the studio’s scripted TV division from New York to L.A., resulting in a handful of layoffs, including SVP Scripted Programming Lisa Leingang.

Based out of the studio’s L.A. office, Phung will oversee the sourcing, developing and packaging of premium ongoing and event series to the broadcast, cable and streaming marketplace. He will report to Topic Studios EVP Maria Zuckerman, who has been working on refocusing the company’s strategy across film, TV, audio and nonfiction since joining in May. Entering the scripted series arena, where the studio doesn’t have a presence yet, is considered a priority.

“Quan is a forward-thinking, savvy and highly respected veteran, and the depth of his experience and bold lens make him a perfect fit for us,” said Zuckerman. “With his excellent taste, stellar relationships and proven track record of hit shows, we are thrilled to welcome him to the team to help lead our new push into original series.”

Phung has more than 20 years of experience as an executive and producer at networks, studios and production companies.

He was most recently a senior consultant for STXtv, the scripted television division of STX Entertainment, where he advised on their global content strategy and developed premium scripted projects from writers and producers Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians), Chris Collins (John Wick 3), Karen Campbell (Outlander), Jackie Chan (The Foreigner) and Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands).

Prior to that, Phung helped launch Slingshot Global Media, a start-up independent television studio backed by TPG Growth, which later became part of Platform One. At Slingshot, he oversaw the development, financing, production and distribution of premium scripted projects from Keanu Reeves, Simon Kinberg, Justin Lin, Michael DeLuca and Jason Blum and set up projects at HBO/Cinemax, Amazon, Hulu, USA and CBS. Two of the projects originated under his watch are in pre-production at Apple and Showtime.

After starting his entertainment career at NBC Entertainment, Phung moved to News Corp., rising to SVP Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox Television. During his tenure there, he shepherded several series including How I Met Your Mother, My Name Is Earl, Arrested Development, The Bernie Mac Show and House.

“I’m thrilled to join Maria and her team and excited to help broaden Topic’s presence in the television space,” Phung said. “I look forward to solidifying Topic Studios as a home for independent artists and voices and partnering with like-minded entities to surface and amplify entertaining stories that spark cultural conversations.”

Topic Studios’ television projects include Netflix docuseries Losers, created by artist Mcikey Duzyj; documentary feature XY Chelsea with Pulse Films, and Showtime’s 16 Shots from Oscar-nominated director Richard Rowley. Topic Studios has helped finance and produce several feature films including The Climb, acquired by Sony Pictures Classics; Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace with Bleecker Street; Julius Onah’s thriller Luce, acquired in partnership with NEON and currently in theaters; the political documentary Dark Money, from director Kimberly Reed with PBS and Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, developed at Topic Studios alongside Grey Matter Productions, on Netflix. Upcoming projects include Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse starring Toni Colette and Damian Lewis, acquired in partnership with Bleecker Street.

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