Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures have partnered with Hollywood producer Will Packer on a TV production and branded content deal.
Will Packer Media will produce episodic scripted and unscripted series for TV and digital platforms, as well as branded content. It will also aim to build a digital destination offering short-form content for millennials, with urban millennials being the venture’s core focus.
“We have put together a dream team of the best talent and partners to help us create bold and fresh content for audiences hungry for something special,” said Packer (pictured), in a statement. “We are creating a new model for content production that sees TV and digital as equals, and combines the best of storytelling and brands for an underserved audience.”
As a key part of the Discovery Communications investment, Will Packer Media will have a first-look programming agreement with OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s joint venture with Discovery.
Packer’s film production company, Will Packer Productions, maintains a first-look film production deal at Universal Pictures, and continues to operate as a separate entity.
“Will Packer has an incredible track record of proven hits and we couldn’t be more excited to work together on new scripted and unscripted programming opportunities for OWN with this new venture,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN, in a statement. “His unique voice and connection with audiences is unparalleled.”
Will Packer Media will have offices in Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta.
Additionally, Will Packer Media has acquired creative and technology agency Narrative_. Co-founded by Tricia Clarke-Stone and Russell Simmons, Narrative_ develops marketing campaigns for blue-chip brands and start-ups including Under Armour, JCPenney, Samsung and Santo Mezquilas.
Clarke-Stone has been named Will Packer Media’s head of brand studio, leading all brand initiatives. Alix Baudin, most recently SVP and GM of digital operations at Scripps Networks Interactive, has joined the company as co-founder, president and COO, overseeing day-to-day operations, growth strategy and digital initiatives.
“Our goal is to be the leading storytelling company focused on our core demographic of New American Mainstream audiences across multiple devices and platforms,” said Baudin, in a statement.
Packer’s credits include the Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises. He served as an executive producer on Straight Outta Compton as well as the Emmy-nominated remake of Roots and the BET series Being Mary Jane.