Sony Pictures Television Names Marie Jacobson Head of New ‘Indie Feature Film Style’ Production Unit

New label aims to “efficiently produce” original content at a lower cost

Last Updated: March 12, 2019 @ 11:50 AM

Sony Pictures Television has tapped Marie Jacobson to lead a new production unit specifically designed to produce original series content at a lower cost, the studio announced on Tuesday.

Jacobson will oversee the new label as head of creative and will report to Sony Pictures Television Studios president Jeff Frost. She’ll be joined by Kathryn Busby as senior vice president and Carolyn Carbone as vice president.

“Marie’s experience in producing shows that deliver both creatively and financially makes her ideal for this position,” Frost said in a memo announcing the new division.

Per Frost’s announcement, the new production label will produce TV programming “in the indie feature film style and paradigm” to reduce per-episode costs. It will target external as well as internal Sony platforms, including the company’s AXN channel.

“Marie and her team are in a unique position to capitalize on shared learnings from their combined experience as programmers and producers to create premium content on a sensible budget,” he said.

Among the previously announced series that will fall under the new label’s purview are “Absentia,” which is distributed by Amazon in the U.S.; the Jerry O’Connell-led detective comedy “Carter,” which airs in the US on WGN; and the Australian thriller “Reckoning,” which will be shopped this spring.

Read Frost’s full memo below.

SPT Team:

We are delighted to announce today the launch of a new U.S. production unit. With an eye toward creating unique, high-quality content, this new production label will efficiently produce content for external and internal platforms, including Sony channels such as AXN. The new label is focused on producing distinct television programming in the indie feature film style and paradigm. Establishing this new label presents a tremendous opportunity to continue serving our customers as well as our own networks with programming that audiences love and that makes financial sense in today’s new entertainment landscape.

Marie Jacobson will oversee and serve as the head of creative for this exciting new division reporting to me. As a dynamic leader that has driven production and programming for SPT’s networks division, Marie’s experience in producing shows that deliver both creatively and financially makes her ideal for this position. Kathryn Busby will serve as SVP and Carolyn Carbone as VP of the new unit and the team will work closely with Steve Kent and Steve Maynard for production and Business Affairs, respectively. The newly established production label will tap into new and emerging voices and draw from our roster of high-level creators and top-notch actors in key roles. Marie and her team are in a unique position to capitalize on shared learnings from their combined experience as programmers and producers to create premium content on a sensible budget.

An outgrowth of the leadership offsite we had last year during which we challenged ourselves to think differently and explore new models, the idea for this new label emerged as one way to reimagine, revitalize and reinvent our development and production models, creatively and commercially. The new label will be a complementary division to our current SPT studio business and will be additive and incremental to what we already do. We have already seen success with similar models on shows like Absentia and Carter: studio-owned IP that premiered on SPT networks and were distributed wide to SVOD and cable platforms in the US and beyond. The group will continue to run point on a few scripted dramas in varying stages of production, including the second season of Absentia, Carter Season 2 and Ultraviolet Season 2. In addition, they are overseeing Reckoning, a new psychological thriller series SPT is taking out to buyers this spring.

Please join me in congratulating and supporting Marie and the team in this new endeavor. We look forward to working together to produce even more brilliant content from all divisions of our US studio.

- Jeff

Variety first reported the news.