New JV to Link Veteran U.S. TV Writers with Chinese Partners


LOS ANGELES: Metan Development Group and a collective of veteran TV and film writers from North America have teamed up to launch Metan Wen Zhi Ku, a joint venture aimed at bringing together Western writing talent with transmedia projects for the Chinese market.

Writers Art Eisenson and David Gittins lead a coalition of film and TV writers that includes Marilyn Anderson (Murphy Brown, The Jeffersons), Michael Elias (Head of the Class, All In The Family), Eric Estrin (Cagney and Lacy, Miami Vice, Murder She Wrote), Lynn Roth (The Paper Chase, Nine To Five series), Judith Parker (L.A. Law), Bob Shayne (Magnum P.I., Knight Rider) and Treva Silverman (Mary Tyler Moore, The Monkeys). Also part of the collective are other writers who have worked on such classics as Dallas, Dynasty, The Golden Girls, Hawaii 5-0, Happy Days, Charlie's Angels and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Metan Wen Zhi Ku, which translates to “writing mastermind,” will have access to this pool of more than 2,000 writers. These writers will lend their expertise as storytellers for multiplatform projects in the developing China media market. The writers will also be involved in mentoring foreign content creators about storytelling.

After China, the company plans to expand to other emerging media markets, including India, Brazil and Russia and the CIS.

Metan Wen Zhi Ku’s first project is a romantic comedy web series to be set in China, Europe and South America.

“When Metan first met with Art and David, we immediately saw an amazing chance to not only celebrate some of the entertainment world’s most talented writers, but to provide them with new international opportunities,” commented Larry Namer, the president and CEO of Metan. “While China’s media business is developing at a rapid pace, core skills of storytelling are lacking. We believe that Metan Wen Zhi Ku will fill this void.”

“The opportunity for profit participation and transparent book-keeping are precedential, and make common business sense,” said Eisenson. “What writers do is structure emotional and cognitive experiences for other people. The fundamental premise of our collective is that humans have always used storytelling to make sense of life, and that writers' skills and perceptions become more elementary as we gain life experience. This joint venture represents a merger of the energies of visionaries and the ethics of those who believe in doing well by doing good.”