Shout! Factory Acquires Rights To Stephen J. Cannell’s 900-Hour Strong TV And Movie Library

EXCLUSIVE: Shout! Factory has struck a distribution deal with Stephen J. Cannell Productions Inc that will give Shout! a mix of worldwide, domestic, international and streaming rights to the prolific TV creator’s catalog of 1970s-1990s shows including 21 Jump Street, Hunter, Wiseguy, The Commish, The Greatest American Hero and Riptide.

With the deal, Shout! will bring the vast library that totals more than 20 TV series and movies and 900 hours of programming to to broadcast and streaming platforms across territories. Terms were not disclosed.

Previously, MeTV owner Weigel Broadcasting had licensed Cannell’s 21 Jump Street, Booker, Hunter, Wiseguy and Commish.

The deal is the latest to fuel Shout!’s strategy of all-rights acquisitions and worldwide distribution of programming across broadcast and multiple digital streaming platforms, with an eye on reinvigorate and create additional long-term value of pop-culture brands. Previous pacts include with Sesame Workshop and ITV Global Entertainment.

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“Many Stephen J. Cannell series have already proven to be immensely popular with viewers and fans over the years. We’re incredibly excited to bring these memorable series through Shout’s distribution channels. There are a lot of untapped opportunities to distribute this content through digital, streaming, transactional outlets and emerging entertainment platforms,”  Shout! Factory founders Bob Emmer and Garson Foos said Wednesday. “As we’re aggressively expanding our content offerings of quality series and movies, this deal exemplifies the type of major acquisitions we plan to pursue actively.”

Also included in the pact is a mix of rights to Cannell’s Booker, The Greatest American Heroine, Hawkeye, Marker, Missing Persons, Palace Guard, Renegade, Silk Stalkings, Stingray, Tenspeed and Brownshoe and the films Dead End Brattigan (aka The Great Pretender), Greyhounds and Return of the Hunter.

Cannell, who died in 2010 at age 69, began his writing career the early 1970s when he penned episodes for series like Adam-12. He later co-created The Rockford Files, the long-running PI drama starring James Garner. It won the Drama Series Emmy in 1978, Cannell’s only Emmy in five nominations that also included for writing The Greatest American Hero. His Wiseguy was nominated for Drama Series in 1989.

He also created Black Sheep Squadron, Baretta, Hardcastle and McCormick and The A-Team, which along with Rockford are not included in the Shout! deal.

Today’s deal was negotiated by Shout’s Emmer, Jeff Peisch and Vanessa Keiko Flanders with Ken Ziffren and Dean Bahat of Ziffren Brittenham LLP on behalf of Stephen J. Cannell Productions and estates.

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