EXCLUSIVE: Former WME Partner and literary agent Melissa Myers has been named President and Partner of a new venture between Kinetic Content founder and CEO Chris Coelen, and Red Arrow Studios, the production division of European media company ProSiebenSat.1.
This marks an expansion into scripted for Red Arrow Studios company Kinetic, a reality powerhouse behind such series as relationship mega hits Love Is Blind for Netflix and Married At First Sight for Lifetime, both created and executive produced by Coelen.
The venture is set to focus on premium high-end English-language scripted TV series with both domestic and global appeal.
English-speaking scripted content has been important to Red Arrow’s production and distribution business, as well as German TV networks like those owned by ProSieben. Germany traditionally has been one of the top markets for U.S. scripted series. The venture also will tap into Red Arrow’s resources and Coelen and Myers’ relationships internationally.
As a partner in the TV department at WME, Myers, who spent more than 20 years at the agency and its predecessor Endeavor, spearheaded the International Scripted Department and led the building of a roster featuring writers, directors and talent while specializing in global changed-format rights.
Coelen and Kinetic Content’s Emmy-nominated Love Is Blind ranked as Netflix’s No.1 series in territories around the world upon release and has been ordered for an additional two seasons. Kinetic’s Married at First Sight, the No.1 series on Lifetime, has been commissioned to produce 400 hours with an order for six seasons of the US version of the show, along with with multiple spinoff series. Married at First Sight is the most locally produced relationship format in the world.
“I am excited to be joining the Kinetic and Red Arrow Studios family where I look forward to capitalizing on my expertise by leading their push into scripted entertainment,” Myers said. “I have long admired Chris and his strategic approach to building his business creating and selling shows. As fellow former agents in the international business, we are in lockstep in how we view the ever- changing scripted and global marketplace and where we look for growth and opportunity. I look forward to partnering with Chris and Red Arrow in building this exciting new company into a creative force, as well as building up all our frequent flyer miles when we are able to travel again.”
Myers’ clients at WME included British production outfits Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Outlander), Big Talk Productions (Crashing, Friday Night Dinner), Riff Raff Productions (Jude Law), Red Productions (Years & Years, Happy Valley), World Productions (The Bodyguard, Line of Duty), 11th Hour Films (Alex Rider, Foyle’s War), Monumental Films (Harlots, Ghosts), Me + You Productions (An Idiot Abroad, Sick of it), Archery Pictures (The Winx, Riviera), and Channel X (The Detectorists).
Myers also represented a slew of international artists whom she helped cross over into the US including SJ Clarkson (Anatomy of a Scandal, Succession, Jessica Jones), Anthony Byrne (Peaky Blinders), Ben Taylor (Sex Education, Catastrophe), Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey, Speechless), James Griffiths (Stumptown, A Million Little Things), Francesca Gardiner (Succession), Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley), Toby Haynes (Utopia, Black Mirror), Jane Fallon (Teachers), Peter Hoar (Umbrella Academy), Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Oliver Lansley (Flack), Mika Watkins (Origin) and Oliver Refson & Lilah Vanderburgh (Uncle). She also helped cross over a host of writer/performers including Ed Weeks (The Mindy Project), Sarah Solemani (Barry), Alex Edelman (The Great Indoors), Tessa Coates (Primates), Janine Harouni (Edinburgh Fringe Festival winner Best Newcomer 2019), Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler (Upper Middle Bogan).
“I’ve been pursuing the opportunity to work with Melissa for well over a year, and she’s the perfect person to lead this new scripted venture for us,” said Coelen. “With the backing and global reach of ProSiebenSat.1, Red Arrow Studios and Kinetic, Melissa’s skill in sourcing outstanding material and her international standing as an artist-friendly leader will help create a collaborative environment where we’ll work with incredible storytellers from every corner of the planet to bring their amazingly diverse and fascinating points-of-view to the widest possible audience.”
Coelen has longtime international ties. As a partner at UTA, he created and ran the Alternative and International TV Departments. He left UTA to become the founding CEO of the North American arm of British production company RDF Media, which ultimately was bought by Banijay, where he produced Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire, and Don’t Forget the Lyrics. In 2010, Coelen founded Kinetic Content, subsequently acquired by Red Arrow Studios.
Said Henrik Pabst, Chief Content Officer of SevenOne Entertainment, the entertainment arm of ProSiebenSat.1, and a member of the Red Arrow Studios advisory board, says: “English-speaking scripted is a vital part of Red Arrow’s international business, and continues to play a role on our channels. Chris Coelen’s ambitious move into scripted, and the hire of Melissa Myers, is incredibly exciting, and we look forward to working with the whole team.”
Myers began her career at ICM before moving to Endeavor in 1999, where she started as an assistant to Ariel Emanuel and Richard Weitz, then as an agent, before eventually rising to partner at WME. A well-known Anglophile, Myers serves on the board of BAFTA LA, and for the past decade co-hosts a Holiday British Pub Quiz at Barneys Beanery to raise money for My Friends Place, a non-profit providing services to Los Angeles homeless youth.