OBB Pictures Signs Deals With 5 NYU Episodic Development Studio Season 1 Winners

Production company founded by Michael D. Ratner partnered with NYU Production Lab to discover and develop episodic projects from new voices

Last Updated: June 21, 2019 @ 8:50 AM

OBB Pictures partnered with the NYU Production Lab to discover and develop projects from the next generation of television writers in the NYU community. The program launched in April 2018 and the first batch of winners was announced this week, with five already having development deals.

The aim of the OBB Pictures x NYU Production Lab Episodic Development Studio was to bring fresh voices representing a wide array of perspectives from emerging talent at NYU to the fast-growing production company.

OBB founder and CEO Michael D. Ratner (pictured above) is an NYU alum, as is production executive Miranda Sherman, who headed up the initiative.

“With Miranda’s experience shepherding emerging talent, she was the clear choice to take the reins for the program, presenting emerging writers with opportunities to create a community of peers, supporting a cohort of diverse voices, and creating a pipeline for distributors seeking the freshest, most exciting stories in television,” Ratner said in a statement.

Prior to joining OBB in December 2017, Sherman co-founded the NYU Production Lab, and ran — alongside John Tintori — the Cinema Research Institute, a think tank exploring new models of film finance, production, marketing and distribution.

Having received hundreds of pilot projects from NYU students and alumni, OBB and the NYU Production Lab awarded Development Studio Fellowships to 11 creators and creative teams. Now after six months of development, OBB has signed agreements with five writers to further develop and shop their projects in 2019.

Read the loglines below:

“The Witch of Lime Street” by David Jaher – The true story of the rise to stardom, via an epic Jazz Age contest, of a young Boston society psychic who dazzled the media and world of science, only to find herself locked in a sensational rivalry with the legendary magician Houdini, hell-bent on exposing her as an ingenious fraud. Based on Jaher’s 2015 NPR Non-Fiction book of the year of the same name.

“Everything’s Rosie” by Erin Rose O’Brien – Millennials are lazy right? Not Rosie, she’s hustled to defy the stereotype. But when the illusion of economic security is shattered, what does Rosie do next? Quit her job. Start vlogging.

“Tierra Paz” by Eugene M. Santiago – A modern-day western about a Southwest-Texas ranchero family that has been running an underground railroad across the Rio Grande for the last 400 years and now faces extinction from the cartels to the South of them, and the American government to their North.

“No Name for Tennessee” by Joey Merlo – Spanning the 15-year partnership between Tennessee Williams and his lover and muse, Frank Merlo, the series explores the passionate and often tumultuous relationship behind the success of one of the most important figures in American theatre history. Joey Merlo has based the series on love letters between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo, who was Joey’s great-uncle.

#TheResistance” by Mike Immerman – A comedy that follows the interpersonal drama and follies of a forest-dwelling band of ill-equipped, yet idealistic, millennial freedom-fighters who must unite and overcome their lack of experience and practical skills to overthrow the greedy and corrupt authoritarian regime known as The Parent Company, which is intent upon destroying the country they love.