EXCLUSIVE: Channel Zero, the Canadian broadcaster responsible for series including Wynonna Earp and The Pinkertons, is launching its own studio operation as it looks to move into producing original scripted content.
Jennifer Chen, formerly the company’s VP of Programming, will lead the division as Head of Studios and VP of Content. In the newly created role, Chen will focus on building out the development slate, overseeing financing and securing relationships with global partners.
It comes after CHCH struck a deal with WPP-backed content funder Motion Content Group last year to develop, produce and distribute high-end Canadian scripted series with international appeal.
No projects have been revealed but Channel Zero Studios said that it expects to be in production on its first series in the first quarter of 2020.
CHCH is behind series including western police procedural The Pinkertons and the first season of western horror drama Wynonna Earp. Both shows have aired globally on Netflix.
“This is an exciting time for Channel Zero as we embark on this next phase of the company’s growth and evolution. For years, we have been proud supporters and broadcast partners for series that have found global success. Now, we look forward to playing a more strategic role in seeking out, nurturing, and producing original productions for audiences around the world,” said Romen Podzyhun, Chairman & CEO, Channel Zero. “Jennifer is the natural choice to lead this new venture. Her broad expertise in programming, distribution, and marketing across film and television will be integral to the success of Channel Zero Studios.”
“I am thrilled to lead this new chapter in Channel Zero’s evolution and collaborate with creators, producers, and partners, both Canadian and international, to bring to life compelling and dynamic stories for all platforms,” added Jennifer Chen, Head of Studios and VP of Content, Channel Zero Studios. “This is an incredibly transformative time for the global television industry and we are excited to expand our business and our legacy by actively exploring opportunities to turn innovative ideas into profitable entertainment.”