Showcase: Amuz Distribution


Last May, Amuz Distribution began rolling out a rebrand from its former moniker, ComediHa! Distribution. Supported by 25 years of experience in the field of comedy, the company has moved into more dramedy and other feel-good programming. The evolution came from “a strong desire to expand our company’s program genres, as well as with a grant from Fonds Québecor, Canada Media Fund and SODEC that allowed for a change,” explains Alex Avon, VP of global distribution. “Initially under the ComediHa! umbrella, our distribution division is now mandated to additionally acquire and co-produce. Instead of pure comedy, which we definitely will continue, we will include more dramedy and redemptive programming.”

This includes Larry, about a former rogue cop whose wife was injured in a gang shooting. He becomes a mall cop with many interesting local characters providing a black comedy scenario. “We are looking at many feel-good programs, and in fact, from the beginning, our tagline has been ‘keeping the world feeling good,’” says Avon.

While comedy, of course, has its place in the Amuz Distribution offering, dramedy is allowing it to tell more of an expanded story—something that the marketplace is warmly welcoming. “Shows like Ted Lasso and Jury Duty led the way in the global zeitgeist, embraced globally for their empathy and complex characters,” Avon says.

Accordingly, the company has been acquiring more of these types of programs, such as the multiple-award-winning dramedy About Antoine, which is loosely based on the true-life story of Antoine, a poly-handicapped young man, and the challenges his family faces in both familial and romantic relationships.

Building out the slate, the plan is to acquire more English-language programs that “can travel further around the world, as well as acquiring both comedy and dramedy series that evoke a range of emotions,” says Avon.

Amuz recently renewed its pact with Casablanca Productions for several titles as well as a few new ones. This includes The Invincibles, a dramedy about four men about to turn 30 who attempt to revive their younger carefree days by breaking up with their girlfriends and struggle to balance their desire for freedom and need for stability, and The Phoenix, a heartwarming series that follows two longtime female friends who embark on a road trip after the death of a husband, exploring the universal themes of grief and transformation. Anyway… is an award-nominated comedy series featuring the loving, stormy and comedic relationship between a mother and her two adult children living in the big city. The award-winning comedy Writer’s Block is about two hapless TV showrunners who experience creative failure with season one of their crime series but are obligated to create a second season. There are two new series in the mix as well: The Clan, a dramedy following a repentant criminal who lives hidden under a new identity in witness protection, and Valmont, a mystery with five seasons about a woman whose world is turned upside down after the death of her husband.

“We are attending several global markets, reaching out to producers at events, such as Prime Time in Ottawa and Series Mania, where we can promote Amuz Distribution as a place for producers to join our premium, award-winning portfolio,” Avon says. “Our message to both producers who want representation among award-winning programs as well as buyers who want to acquire an eclectic mix of comedy, dramedy and feel-good programming is: Come to Amuz Distribution, where we are ‘keeping the world feeling good’ with fantastic programming.”