Fabel Entertainment Takes Shape

Mohan Mandali and Jasmine Russ, directors of development at Fabel Entertainment, discuss their priorities at the newly launched development and production company.

It was announced last month that Fabrik Entertainment CEO Henrik Bastin, the driving force behind the Amazon hit Bosch, was launching a new international development and production company: Fabel Entertainment. The new venture retained the Fabrik development slate and kept President Melissa Aouate and core creatives in place. Bastin tapped Mandali and Russ as directors of development.

Russ has played a significant role in developing new titles like the upcoming Bosch spin-off for IMDb TV and Invisible Monsters, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. “So few places seem to really value the input and ambitions of their supportive staff, and at Fabel, it was clear from the start that the company truly functions as a team,” Russ says. “I’m so grateful to be seen as an asset in shaping the company mandate, building the new brand from the ground floor and having my personal taste influence the overall Fabel slate; if I truly love a project or idea, I know the team will move mountains to support me, and I them.”

Mandali has been key in developing high-profile series such as the Bosch spin-off and previously worked at HBO in development. “During my interviews, I instantly felt a sense of community,” Mandali tells TV Drama Weekly about the decision to join Fabel. “Having the hands-on approach to creating a new brand and company mandate along with Henrik, Jasmine and Melissa has been an amazing experience; not only do I have a seat at the table, but support to use my voice and put my own thumbprint on the company. Henrik is a big believer that ‘good is good,’ and that is something that was really appealing—an idea can come from anywhere and as long as it’s undeniable, we would go for it.”

Both of the executives’ backgrounds in the international TV industry serve them well at Fabel. “I was born in India, raised in New Hampshire and educated in Wisconsin only to end up in Los Angeles trying to tell stories that are universal,” Mandali says. “Already having international ties and the amazing European resources from Henrik, we’ve had the chance to push those boundaries to an even more international scope. We’ve had the opportunity to now explore India, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and finding stories that feel authentic to the region while also appealing to audiences worldwide.”

“Being Australian, and part of a multinational team, means that our current global push is more than just seeing market potential, but actually comes from a really passionate, personal drive,” Russ adds. “I want to be part of making stories my family back home can watch, talk about with their friends and feel are authentic to their experience. And it’s only natural for that to then extend for all international audiences and across all genres.”

Through this new venture, the multinational team is focused on diversifying genres with a strong eye on U.S. and international expansion and continued partnerships with both renowned and first-time creators.

“Coming from a family of seven, I’ve always been addicted to family dramas—everything from The Haunting of Hill House to Parasite to Succession,” says Russ. “Looking at genre through culture is also a really exciting area for me: what does an Indian sci-fi look like, what does a Mexican fantasy look like? I’d also love to find a smart, elegant ongoing horror. I strongly believe that the key to finding fresh ideas, and supporting underrepresented voices, comes from supporting first-time creators. I really want Fabel to be the home for undeniable young talent that is on the brink of discovery and just need the support and resources to really start their careers.”

“I learned English while watching Dragon Ball Z, playing video games and reading comics, so some might say I’m a geek,” Mandali jokes. “I love worldbuilding, sci-fi, fantasy and finding different lenses into those worlds that we haven’t seen before. I’ve created an initiative at our company to tell more stories from BIPOC. From new writers to the showrunner level, I’ve created a platform at Fabel to diversify our slate and push outside of our comfort zone. Representation matters in front of and behind the camera, so creating a company culture to support BIPOC voices has been something I’ve been really passionate about.”

The Bosch spin-off is among the high-profile series on the Fabel slate. The new IMDb TV original will follow Harry Bosch as he embarks on the next chapter of his career and finds himself working with his one-time enemy and top-notch attorney Honey “Money” Chandler. With a deep and complicated history between this unlikely pair, they must work together to do what they can agree on: finding justice. Titus Welliver, Mimi Rogers and Madison Lintz will be reprising their roles.

“We have a strong and consistent fan base that loves Bosch that didn’t want season seven to be the last,” says Mandali. “As we were closing the chapter on Fabrik and moving toward Fabel, we had the perfect opportunity to also bring a new chapter to Bosch as well, finding the perfect partner with IMDb TV. More Bosch please!”

Russ adds, “Bosch was really a core foundational series that allowed us to build Fabrik into what it became. There is something really poetic about the spin-off now being the foundational series for us to build Fabel around. It represents the history and the legacy of the original series, while also establishing its own identity as a powerhouse series in its own right, mimicking our ambition moving from Fabrik to Fabel.”

Russ says that Invisible Monsters is one of her favorite projects on the slate. “Jenn Yale has done a fantastic job shaping this cult favorite into something modern, distinct and addictive. We’re currently working with the trans community to make sure our vision for the characters and story feel authentic and exciting before taking it out to find its network home.”

Looking ahead, Russ says to expect a wide array of genres for Fabel: more comedy, more international projects, as well as some “fresh young voices and wildly original ideas.”

“Like our namesake, we will continue to spin tales of myth and legend,” Mandali adds. “We have a lot of exciting projects coming up and can’t wait to announce more of them soon.”