DRG has made its first-ever commission, Mason’s Bloodline, a four-part documentary series produced by MY Entertainment in the U.S.
Mason’s Bloodline will tell the story of Charles Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, and how he coped with having a homicidal relative. The 4×60-minute docuseries is slated for delivery in late summer, ahead of next year’s 50th anniversary of the titular cult leader’s murder spree. It is being executive produced by Joe Townley, COO at MY Entertainment and Zak Bagans Entertainment, with DRG’s Richard Halliwell, Elin Thomas and Adam Barth also exec producing.
DRG originally decided to fully fund production and commission the show without a broadcaster. Since that time, Reelz has come on board in the U.S. and DRG licensed the pan-Scandinavian rights to Viaplay. The plan is for Bloodline to become a returning docuseries franchise.
Halliwell, the CEO of DRG commented: “Over the past year or two we have increasingly worked very closely with producers and have become integral to the development process of numerous programs—scripted and unscripted—from both a financial and content perspective. With our business constantly evolving, a full commission was a natural next step and we are delighted that our first green light is the high-profile story told in Manson’s Bloodline.
He continued: “The traditional distribution model is no longer viable; distributors cannot sit back and wait for programming to come to them. We need to be quick, flexible and use our market knowledge—and instincts—to grab great content and ensure it moves swiftly from a paper idea into production. Manson’s Bloodline, with its extensive exclusive elements, was a gift of a treatment, but it also had MY Entertainment attached. We know the team there well and they have an enviable reputation for delivering great shows, so we really didn’t need to deliberate. This has been a very positive development for DRG and we are now pursuing a full slate of our own commissions.”
Michael Yudin, founder of MY Entertainment, added: “As well as our track record for creating cutting-edge content, such as Pros vs. Joes and Breaking Borders, we are known for pioneering new business models and co-developing projects with international partners. However, this is the first time we have been directly commissioned by a company best known as a distributor. DRG’s upfront development support and subsequent quick green light, plus the combination of our joint expertise, has produced a fascinating series that was not only able to capture key events as they happened, such as the Manson funeral, but also deliver in good time for broadcasters to schedule for 2019.”