Genius Inks 'Hallmark' Alliance14 Dec, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Genius Products' aggressive desire to distribute DVDs spanning the entire genre spectrum continued with the announcement of co-production, finance and home entertainment deals with RHI Entertainment (formerly Hallmark Entertainment).
The five-year agreement between Genius, majority stakeholders Bob and Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Co., and RHI founders Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., would involve new and catalog content from RHI's library of more than 4,000 hours of made-for-TV and miniseries programming.
RHI produces about 40 made-for-TV movies for Spike, Sci Fi Channel and Hallmark Channel, and an estimated five miniseries produced for the major networks annually.
Recent Hallmark titles include recurring series “Mystery Woman: Redemption” with Kellie Martin (“ER”), mini-series “Blackbeard,” “The Curse of King Tut's Tomb” with Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), and “The Ten Commandments” with Naveen Andrews (“Lost”).
The transaction would grow the Genius' library to over 1,800 titles and should result in 200-250 additional new titles over the 5-year term.
“The addition of RHI Entertainment's library of high-quality film and television product dramatically expands our portfolio of genre films and gives us a very strong position in the expansive TV-on-DVD market for physical and digital distribution,” said Trevor Drinkwater, president and CEO of Genius. “The economic model associated with this new agreement is expected to further enhance our operating margins and accelerate our stated mission to increase our critical mass of content in both the physical and digital distribution arenas.”