Say Yes to the Dress prodco Half Yard Productions has appointed former Sirens Media executive and veteran crime producer Anne S. Rothwell to lead the company’s newly minted crime and investigation content unit.
Having built award-winning series and specials across lifestyle and adventure, the Red Arrow Studios-owned firm is taking strategic advantage of an opening in the production community to leverage the genre’s broad appeal globally.
“This genre has obviously exploded and we’ve seen the success of this programming on different networks, not just cable but also on over-the-top players,” Abby Greensfelder, Half Yard’s co-CEO and executive producer, tells realscreen.
“Honestly, it was an opportunistic thing because we saw a huge community of producers in this area that do crime productions,” she adds. “There was an opportunity through Anne, with all of her contacts and her incredible background, to launch a unit within the company that would be squarely focused on crime and investigation programming.”
The crime division will expand Half Yard’s creative capabilities while complementing its library of “real world” entertainment content, including Discovery’s The Last Alaskans and Twin Turbos, Nat Geo Wild’s Animal PD, Velocity’s Junkyard Empire, Lifetime’s Raising Tourette’s and the Say Yes to the Dress franchise for TLC.
The first project to sprout from Half Yard’s crime & investigation unit is World’s Most Haunted, which will be developed in partnership with Red Arrow Studios International, the TV distribution arm of Red Arrow Studios.
Half Yard will additionally develop a full slate of crime and investigation series with an aim to feed into the international marketplace while maintaining the rights and selling into the U.S. market. In addition, the new division will specifically develop shows for U.S. cablers and OTT buyers.
The forthcoming projects will range across talent-led and access-driven programming.
Rothwell joins the Bethesda, Maryland-based producer with immediate effect as EP and head of the new division. She will be responsible for developing and producing true crime series for the international marketplace.
She reports to Greensfelder and Sean Gallagher, both of whom serve as executive producers and co-CEOs at the company.
Most recently, Rothwell served as senior executive producer at Sirens Media, where she launched, served as showrunner and exec produced more than 10 C&I series, including TLC’s Strange Sex; Nightmare Next Door, Deadly Affairs, Evil Stepmothers, all for Investigation Discovery (ID); TV One’s For My Man and For My Woman; and A&E’s Panic 911.
Additional non-fiction crime and mystery production credits include Discovery’s A Haunting, ID’s Wicked Attraction and FBI: Criminal Pursuit, and History Channel’s Grounded on 9/11.
Prior to Sirens, Rothwell also held a variety of roles at M2 Pictures, New Dominion Pictures and BellaSwartz Productions.
The experienced crime and investigation executive producer and showrunner has overseen more than 400 hours of programming in the genres.