- Monday, Jan. 22, 2018
- LOS ANGELES
Amazon Studios has entered into an exclusive two-year overall deal with Emmy-nominated writer and creator Sharon Horgan. In addition to her personal deal, Horgan’s production company Merman has signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. Per this arrangement, Amazon Studios will get first-look rights to Merman concepts to which Horgan is attached and remake rights to Merman-produced television series. The first look deal will be overseen by Horgan and Merman co-founder Clelia Mountford.
Horgan is the co-creator behind critically acclaimed Catastrophe, which she co-writes and co-stars in with Rob Delaney. An Amazon Original Series, Catastrophe earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Horgan is also the creator and executive producer of Divorce and co-creator of Motherland. Since its creation three years ago, Merman has continued to produce award-winning television with high-caliber talent. Projects include Bliss, directed by David Cross, Divorce starring Sarah Jessica Parker and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret starring Cross and Will Arnett, with several more in the works.
“Sharon Horgan is one of the sharpest and most engaging actresses, writers, and directors working in television today. We are thrilled she is expanding her collaboration with us at Amazon to create new groundbreaking content,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series, Amazon Studios. “Her strong creative voice and storytelling sensibility have resonated with audiences globally and will make for outstanding shows for our Prime members.”
In 2017, Merman opened offices in LA and NYC, alongside a branded entertainment division, headed by Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated producer Kira Carstensen and advertising veteran Jeremy Rainbird. The London office is under the directorship of EP/partner Dan Dickenson and Siobhan Murphy, development director of commercials and branded. In addition to commercial content helmed by an award-winning roster of directors, Merman’s focus is to bring writers and creators from their TV and film family into scripting entertainment for brands in collaboration with agency partners.
“Our goal for Merman’s branded side is to create opportunities for our directors and creators to bridge the gap between advertising and entertainment,” said Merman’s managing partner Carstensen. “The Amazon deal allows us an avenue to develop long-form projects that might have originated in the branded side. That’s exciting.”
The Merman family of talent includes Horgan, Cross, Delaney, Dennis Kelly, Jack McBrayer, Sara Pascoe, Shaun Pye, Aisling Bea and Morgana Robinson. Merman’s commercial directing roster features multi-faceted talent like MJ Delaney, Peter Lydon, SNL director Paul Briganti, Frank Coraci, rising star Mariana Youssef and two-time Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker. In the UK, Merman represents Superprime and its roster of directors including Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Emmett and Brendon Malloy, David LaChapelle and Damien Chazelle.