EXCLUSIVE: Critical Content’s head of scripted Ray Ricord has joined Gemstone Studios, Sony Pictures TV’s boutique production unit, as SVP Development. Ricord fills the role recently vacated by Kathryn Busby who was named EVP and head of another Sony TV division, TriStar Television. Based at SPT’s headquarters in Culver City, he reports to Marie Jacobson, EVP of Gemstone Studios, effective immediately.
This marks Ricord’s return to SPT where he signed a pod deal in 2011.
In his new role, he will work with emerging and established writers and producers and manage development and production of new series for the Sony TV label focused on non-traditional production models. He also will be identifying platform partners who are open to pursuing the Gemstone style of indie programming. The first project to market is Chris Kelly’s Salvation Road which Ricord co-developed with the Gemstone team at his prior home, Critical Content.
“Gemstone’s mission is to source and sell the best indie creative, powered by bold and breakout talent,” said Jacobson. “Ray has just the entrepreneurial mindset and deep relationships with buyers we need to drive our pipeline of projects. He’s a creative producer first and foremost and a seller who understands the needs of the market. I can’t wait for us to get going!”
During his tenure at Critical Content, where he served as SVP Scripted Development, Ricord developed and served as an executive producer on multiple projects including: Left Hand of Darkness, based on the science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin; Gucci Wars, based on the memoir by Jenny Gucci; the sci-fi series 6 Wakes, based on the novel by Mur Lafferty and Malcolm X, a drama series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable.
Ricord was previously a development executive, overseeing both movies and television series, at ABC, ABC Studios, Disney Channel and ABC Family.
“Gemstone Studios is a smart and exciting label with a provocative mission – to tell brand new stories with a brand new production approach. I’m excited to be a part of the team,” Ricord said.
Gemstone Studios’ series slate includes drama Absentia, comedic procedural Carter and psychological thriller Reckoning.