*Los Angeles – HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, part of WarnerMedia’s Studio and Networks Group, and WarnerMedia’s CNN Films and CNN Original Series announced today a two-year exclusive first-look deal for unscripted content with Jeff Friday Media, which produces and champions film, television, and events focused on Black and Brown culture.
This agreement will encompass all original and acquired unscripted content ranging from documentaries, docuseries, and specials to reality TV and awards shows, as well as a first look at all documentary films submitted to the annual American Black Film Festival.
This new deal marks the next chapter of a longstanding relationship with Jeff Friday Media, dedicated to promoting diversity in Hollywood and recognizing and establishing emerging filmmakers. HBO is a founding sponsor of the American Black Film Festival, which is now under the Jeff Friday Media banner and celebrates its 25th anniversary this November 3-28.
HBO has hosted the Short Film Competition at ABFF for 24 years, which has helped to launch the careers of such prestigious producers and filmmakers as Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther), Issa Rae (Insecure), Steven Caple, Jr. (Creed II), and Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard). Additionally, the TNets have sponsored writers’ development programs which have led to the placement of writers on such series as the critically-acclaimed Claws on TNT.
“I am so proud of this unique deal with Jeff Friday Media, which takes our decades-long partnership to the next level. Together, we will provide even more opportunities for Black and Brown storytellers to reach a large global audience with a diverse array of tastes across leading platforms and networks,” said Michael Quigley, EVP, Content Acquisitions for TNT, TBS, truTV, HBO and HBO Max. “Jeff and Nicole Friday and their team have an incredible network of talent and relationships and are a great source for new and diverse creative talent and projects. I can’t wait for what we will accomplish together.”
“This partnership reflects the ongoing commitment of WarnerMedia towards increasing the number of underrepresented creatives in front of and behind the camera,” remarked Karen Horne, SVP Equity & Inclusion, Pipeline Programs. “A creative partnership with Jeff Friday Media accelerates our efforts and broadens the inclusive possibilities across the scope of our content landscape.”
“We are excited to continue our work with WarnerMedia in this expanded capacity that will allow us to develop original content with the talented community of filmmakers that we support for the HBO, HBO Max, CNN Films, CNN Original Series, and TNets audiences,” said Jeff Friday, CEO Jeff Friday Media and Founder ABFF Ventures LLC, and Nicole Friday, President, Jeff Friday Media and ABFF Ventures, LLC. “We will use our production expertise and the vast pipeline that the American Black Film Festival provides us to amplify Black and Brown creatives and their brilliant storytelling. This partnership makes that possible as we continue our mission to show that diversity in Hollywood is imperative and makes smart business sense.”
HBO/HBO Max reach 69.4 million subscribers globally, as of September 2021. The combined reach of the TNets in the U.S. is 210 million viewers annually, with TNT ranking as the #1 cable network, and TBS as the #2 cable entertainment network. CNN Films are available to the 78.2 million subscribers of CNN across the U.S. Additionally, CNN is ranked as the #1 cable news network in the U.S., also based upon reach, and is the most honored brand in cable news.
HBO® is one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world, serving iconic, award-winning programming through the HBO linear channels and the direct-to-consumer streaming platform, HBO Max®. Internationally, HBO-branded services are available in more than 85 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. A part of WarnerMedia, HBO is the world’s most successful pay TV service with an extensive array of programming that includes some of the most notable television titles, including dramas like “Succession,” “Watchmen,” “Westworld,” “Big Little Lies,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “Band of Brothers” and “The Wire,” as well as comedy series “Barry,” “Insecure” and “Sex and the City.”
ABOUT HBO MAX
HBO Max™ is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer streaming platform, offering best in class quality entertainment. HBO Max features the greatest array of storytelling for all audiences from the iconic brands of HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and more. The platform launched in the United States in May 2020 and introduced a lower priced, advertising-supported tier in June 2021. HBO Max began its global rollout launching in markets across Latin America and the Caribbean this summer, followed by its first European launches in the Nordics and Spain this fall. It has been announced that HBO Max will continue its European expansion for a global reach of 67 countries in 2022.
ABOUT CNN FILMS
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects. Acclaimed CNN Films include the Academy Award®-nominated, BAFTA-nominated, and Emmy® Award-winning RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; the Emmy® Award-winning APOLLO 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller; JIMMY CARTER: Rock & Roll President, directed by Mary Wharton; THE LOST SONS, directed by Ursula Macfarlane; DREAMLAND: The Burning of Black Wall Street, directed by Salima Koroma; LADY BOSS: The Jackie Collins Story, directed by Laura Fairrie; and, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, directed by Dawn Porter. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms, follow @CNNFilms via Twitter, and join Keep Watching, an exclusive, members-only community for CNN Films & CNN Original Series https://cnn.it/3qTScB4.
TBS, a WarnerMedia brand, is a top-rated destination for television among young adults and known for escapist, lean-in entertainment, featuring smart, imaginative stories with heart and comedic edge. From scripted comedy series to late-night shows, game shows, and animated programming, TBS’ Originals slate is comprised of some of the most popular shows on cable — “Miracle Workers,” “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “The Last O.G.,” “American Dad!” and “Chad.” The network’s slate of premium unscripted series includes “The Misery Index,” “Go-Big Show,” “Wipeout,” “Friday Night Vibes,” “The Cube,” and “Backyard Bar Wars,” along with upcoming series “The Big D”. TBS’ lineup also includes comedy hits like “Family Guy” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and classic sitcom favorite “Friends,” blockbuster movies, and live event coverage of Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and “ELEAGUE,” WarnerMedia’s eSports gaming competition. Website: www.tbs.com
TNT, a WarnerMedia brand, is watched by more people than any other cable network and known for big, lean-forward television that gives viewers the best seat in the house for electrifying stories, dynamic characters and thrilling events. TNT is home to some of television’s most popular original series including “Snowpiercer,” “Animal Kingdom,” and “Claws.” TNT is expanding its programming to include premium unscripted with the docuseries “Shaq Life.” TNT also presents primetime specials and sports coverage, including the NBA and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships and the professional wrestling league All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which has exploded onto the scene with “AEW: Dynamite.” Website: www.tntdrama.com
truTV, a WarnerMedia brand, is a bold, fresh entertainment network that gives viewers audacious content with laugh-out-loud moments and relatable characters. With millions of engaged fans across linear, digital and social channels, the cable network features a growing roster of critically acclaimed and fan-favorite, premium scripted, non-scripted and hybrid series, such as “The Impractical Jokers,” “Tacoma FD,” “Fast Foodies,” “Big Trick Energy” and “Backyard Bar Wars.” truTV is also a partner in airing the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship each year. Website: www.trutv.com
ABOUT JEFF FRIDAY MEDIA
Jeff Friday Media (JFM) is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company producing events, film and television focused on Black and Brown culture. Its mission is to create live experiences and content that convey aspects of humanity and achievement often dismissed or overlooked, in the portrayal of people of color in popular entertainment. As part of its formation, JFM acquired ABFF Ventures LLC, an organization recognized in the Hollywood community for creating platforms that showcase and promote distinctive Black and Brown talent. Its tent-pole properties are the American Black Film Festival and ABFF Honors, both founded by JFM CEO Jeff Friday. In 2020, JFM secured a motion picture development deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment and launched ABFF PLAY, a live and on-demand streaming service featuring free and pay-per-view content. JFM recently announced a scripted television partnership with Endeavor Content and POV.
source: Loraine Valverde – WarnerMedia