Beverly Hills’ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios announced on Monday it has acquired a 55 percent interest in One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, the production companies behind “Survivor” and History Channel miniseries “The Bible,” respectively.
Both companies were controlled by Hearst Entertainment along with husband-and-wife producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the investments gives MGM complete control over properties including “The Voice,” “Shark Tank” and “The Apprentice.”
Reality show producer Burnett will serve as chief executive of the newly consolidated media venture, United Artists Media Group, which will focus on developing, producing and financing television programs, movies and digital content. Downey, known for her role as the angel in “Touched by an Angel,” will be president of LightWorkers Media, the faith and family division of the new venture.
The highlight of the deal will be a faith-based digital television platform – similar to Netflix – expected to launch in 12 to 24 months.
The network’s programming “will consist of a mix of original new content, premium film and television catalog titles, curated Christian music videos, regional and national congregation portals, sermons from worldwide religious leaders and user-created short-form faith-based videos,” according to a statement from MGM.
Leading the digital venture is a natural move for Downey, who is no stranger to Christian programming. She is the executive producer of the children's DVD and book series “Little Angels” and its companion “Little Angels Storybook Bible.” In addition to playing the title role in “Touched by an Angel,” she has portrayed Mary, the mother of Jesus, in LightWorkers miniseries “The Bible” and film “Son of God,” which she also produced.
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