Cinedigm, TwentyOne14 Media Partner to Launch Multicultural TV Network
TwentyOne14 Media announced on Jan. 6 a strategic partnership with former Cartoon Network executive and multi-Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Miller and his company, Pat & Mike Productions, along with award-winning author and graphic novelist Dan Abnett, whose credits include the multi-million selling Eisenhorn and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Miami-based animation house Team Legend Studios. The partnership will launch an upcoming linear and advertising VOD channel dedicated multicultural entertainment and lifestyle consumers in the U.S. market and is focused on creating and producing both adult and youth-oriented animation projects that feature BIPOC talent and characters and speaks authentically to BIPOC audiences.
The unnamed network is targeting an early 2021 debut for connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices and web-based and online OTT services.
Before launching TwentyOne14 Media, Newell co-founded Codeblack Entertainment, which eventually became the movie label Codeblack Films at Lionsgate.
Last Tuesday, Newell stated “I’m excited to join forces with Cinedigm to create a network where diverse voices are supported and encourage filmmakers of color to continue telling stories that offer a rich and more complete portrayal of the world around us.”
The first program presented by this partnership will be the original project The Adventures of Skelly: a coming of age animated series that revolves around Skelly, the son of the Grim Reaper. With the help of his best friend Bonnie and guidance from his dog, Bones, Skelly travels across dimensions with his father’s scythe to learn what it takes to become a luchador. Now, Skelly has to choose between following in his father’s footsteps and becoming the next reaper, or following his dreams of becoming the greatest luchador — and risk disrupting the balance of life. Miller will serve as the project’s showrunner and executive producer.
The partnership will focus on curating, developing and producing programming that is authentic, diverse and inclusive. The partnership adopts the philosophy that African American, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian American markets are valuable and should be represented in all facets of entertainment output, including animation. The team believes there is opportunity in this focus and that there is a deficit in quality, authentic programming targeting this segment.
“TwentyOne14 understands the exigent importance of bringing the voices of diverse storytellers to the forefront,” said Miller. “I’m looking forward to partnering with them to produce content that speaks authentically to an underserved and underrepresented audience; Quincy and Mykel are seasoned diverse content producers who fiercely foster new and established talent; and I can’t wait to get started!”
“Twentyone14 Media’s Quincy Newell and Mykel Mitchell are sharp, astute and vigorous. They’ve got an ambitious outlook, great projects and a clear ability to make them happen. I am very excited to be working with them,” added Abnett.
“We’re excited to join forces with these extremely talented creators to help close the gap that exists in this category. We aspire to be a team that supports and encourages diverse voices and create an opportunity for creators of color to expand their landscape of storytelling into animation,” said Newell’s business partner and TwentyOne14 Media’s head of business development, Mykel Mitchell. “Our mantra at TwentyOne14 Media is to support and create content that is rooted in authenticity and inclusiveness, and has the power to create cross-cultural connections.”
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