Lionsgate Television Cuts Overall & First-Look Deals Post eOne Acquisition

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate Television is reducing the number of its development deals by more than half, sources tell Deadline. The move comes on the heels of Lionsgate’s acquisition of indie TV studio eOne from Hasbro, which was completed at the end of December. It follows a two-month review of the combined talent roster of Lionsgate Television and eOne, which I hear included nearly 60 overall and first-look deals. More than 50% of them — across both eOne and Lionsgate TV — have now been cut. A rep for Lionsgate declined comment.

A push to trim costs and eliminate “inefficiencies” is an unfortunate but inevitable fallout from any merger or acquisition. In addition to being part of a post-transaction consolidation at Lionsgate, the reduction of the company’s TV deals also is likely tied to the ongoing contraction in the television business, which was accelerated after the strike. As Deadline has reported, studios have been trimming costs to adjust to the post-Peak TV era of fewer scripted TV series produced at lower price points.

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Like all other studios, Lionsgate TV suspended the majority of its overall and first-look deals during the WGA strike.

Lionsgate, which is in the process of separating itself from Starz, has 18-20 on-air TV series this year between Lionsgate TV and eOne. The recently launched comedy Extended Family on NBC; the new Seth Rogen comedy for Apple TV+ and The Hunting Wives for Starz, which both begin shooting in the next few weeks; Starz’s Spartacus revival, which begins shooting in New Zealand; and Gentleman in Moscow for Showtime/Paramount+ are joining returning series Ghosts S3, Acapulco S3, The Recruit, The Serpent Queen S2, BMF S4, the Power franchise, and The Rookie, which just hit the 100-episode mark.

In preparation for its post-Starz future as a pure film and TV content supplier, Lionsgate has been bulking up over the past few months, spending $375M to acquire eOne and approximately $200M to increase its majority stake in 3 Arts Entertainment.

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