Having made VH1 an offer they couldn’t refuse, The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Ben Silverman‘s next-generation multimedia studio, Electus, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), will launch the currently titled “Mob Wives,” a reality series created by Jennifer Graziano of JustJenn Productions. VH1 has picked up the program in a ten-episode, straight-to-series commitment, with production beginning after Thanksgiving for a tentative debut in March 2011.
“Mob Wives” is a reality show based on the lives of four struggling “allegedly” associated women who have to pick up the pieces and carry on after their husbands or fathers do time for Mob-related activities.
The project is the first to unite the feature film sensibilities of The Weinstein Company and the television and multimedia content expertise of Ben Silverman and his new venture, Electus. The companies look forward to exploring additional opportunities as they arise across all media. Electus and TWC will serve as co-executive producers on the show. In addition, Electus Distribution, the studio’s international distribution arm established in 2010, will have international distribution rights across all platforms including television, motion picture and digital.
“As evidenced by his groundbreaking shows such as ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘The Office,’ Ben Silverman is a true innovator in the medium of television whose opinion we greatly respect,” stated Harvey Weinstein. “We are thrilled to partner with him on the first of what we hope will be many TV projects to come.”
“Harvey and Bob are fantastic producers with incredible taste and more trophies than the New York Yankees,” said Ben Silverman, founder and CEO of Electus. “We are thrilled to partner with them and VH1 on this supercharged series and are actively developing multiple projects across all media.”
“It’s really exciting to have a groundbreaking series from such legendary talent as the Weinstein brothers and Ben Silverman on a project as intriguing as ‘Mob Wives,'” stated Jeff Olde, EVP, original programming and production, VH1. ”The women featured in the series are compelling, real-life characters with amazing stories to tell. Viewers will get a chance to follow them as they enter the next chapter of their lives.”
The series is the first created by Jennifer Graziano, who will serve as an executive producer. The experience of escorting “Mob Wives” to VH1 led The Weinstein Company to forge an exclusive deal between TWC and JustJenn Productions to create original television programming in the reality and scripted space. JustJenn will be based in TWC’s offices in New York and L.A.
“All of us at TWC loved ‘Mob Wives,’ especially Harvey, and our enthusiasm wasn’t only for the project, but for Jennifer. She is a bright creative talent whose relationships and marketing experience will help us move more aggressively into television,” said David Glasser, COO of The Weinstein Company. Among its current television projects is the popular Bravo series “Project Runway,” its Lifetime spin-off “On the Road with Austin & Santino” and HBO’s “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.”
“Partnering with two legendary filmmakers and unique content providers like Harvey and Bob Weinstein is a dream come true, and I look forward to working with them on a daily basis to create the best shows on television,” stated Graziano.
Graziano began her career at Sony Entertainment in 2001, segueing to its A&R department before leaving the company to manage R&B/hip hop artist Frankee, for whom Graziano also wrote the #1 hit single, “F.U.R.B. (F U Right Back).” Most recently, she served as a director in the consumer lifestyle marketing department of MWW Group, a New York/New Jersey-based marketing communications firm, while leading her own company, Bounce Marketing, which aligns entertainment artists and properties with major brands such as Sony and Dodge.