CBS Buys Stake in Nina Tassler’s PatMa Productions, Will Develop ‘American Martyrs’ for Showtime

Agreement includes first-look deal across all CBS platforms

CBS has bought an ownership stake in PatMa Productions, the production company led by Denise Di Novi and former CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler.

The agreement includes a first-look deal across all CBS platforms, which will be co-financed and co-produced by CBS Studios. No financial details were disclosed.

The first project is a limited series adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ 2017 novel, “A Book of American Martyrs.” The book is described as a moving portrait of two families whose lives collide when a politically charged act of violence rips both apart. The series is being written by Winnie Holzman and Savannah Dooley, who will serve as executive producers along with Tassler, Di Novi, Debra Greenfield and Linda Kent.

“Nina and Denise are accomplished, creative leaders and proven producers who are respected across the industry for their artistic vision as well as their strong social consciousness,” David Nevins, chief creative officer, CBS Corporation and chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks, Inc., said. “We are excited to partner with them to create programming that speaks to a wide range of audiences across all of our platforms, as well as others.”

PatMa will continue to operate as an independent production company with the ability to sell to all buyers across the broadcast, cable and streaming markets. PatMa Productions, launched in January 2018 by Di Novi and Tassler, is named after their mothers, Pat and Norma. Former Showtime programming executive Joan Boorstein was named president of the company last month.

Tassler was CBS’ top entertainment programming executive from 2004 to 2014, first starting as entertainment president before becoming chairman.

“We could not have found a better or more supportive partner than CBS in our endeavor to create social relevance and commercial entertainment. ‘A Book of American Martyrs’ is the perfect beginning. We are thrilled to have a writer of Winnie Holzman’s stature bringing the work of the esteemed Joyce Carol Oates to the screen,” Tassler and Di Novi said.