Lionsgate, Ish Entertainment form new TV joint programming venture

Mumbai: Ish Entertainment, the company recently formed by Michael Hirschorn and Stella Stolper, has formed a joint venture with Lionsgate to produce original entertainment for television. With offices in Santa Monica and New York, Ish Entertainment will continue to operate under its own banner with financial, production and distribution support from Lionsgate.

The new joint venture allows Lionsgate to quickly expand its imprint in the area of alternative programming and is the latest in a number of strategic deals, including the company’s acquisition of top television distributor Debmar-Mercury LLC, that underscore the importance of television to Lionsgate’s overall business.

The partnership enables Ish to ramp up production much more quickly and efficiently, utilizing Lionsgate’s production and distribution expertise and its existing infrastructure. It also furthers the company’s objective to develop its profile in scripted and theatrical entertainment.

Hirschorn recently won an Emmy as an executive producer of DMC: My Adoption Journey, a documentary developed under VH1’s Rock Docs franchise.

"This partnership is an exciting new growth opportunity and makes perfect strategic sense," said Lionsgate president of television programming and production Kevin Beggs.

"Our new venture with Ish Entertainment epitomizes our ongoing efforts to develop innovative business models that work both creatively and financially," said Lionsgate COO of television Sandra Stern, who negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.

"We did this deal with Lionsgate not only because they are providing the resources we need to grow quickly, but because we can learn from them about how to build an independent business and succeed at the highest levels," said Hirschorn. "The combination of support and autonomy is a dream come true, and it will allow us to expand our activities into other areas of entertainment with the same kind of entrepreneurial spirit that inspired the creation of our company."