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Jeff Wachtel launches contract with Future Shack Entertainment, Roku

Television veteran Jeff Wactel has raised funds and formed a small team to launch Futureshack Entertainment, a production banner focused on developing television for the global market.

Wachtel is former NBC Universal executives Sam Michaels and Yusik Choi, former Rothschild & Co. Signed a deal with an investment banker at Credit Suisse, managing director of the company, and launched the banner with a large amount of funding from a private equity fund.

Future Shack has also partnered with Blink49 Studios, a banner powered by Endeavor Content launched by Entertainment One and Alliance Atlantic alum John Morianis last year. Future Shack also has a first-look deal with Roku Channel, one of the many ad support channels offered on the digital MVPD platform.

Jeff Wactel
Adam Olszewski / NBCUniversal

“This is the most devastating and exciting time our business has seen over a generation,” Wachtel said. variety.. “Companies with hobbies, motivation and vision have the opportunity. We believe that we can be a creative and commercial lunch pad and the best artists can find the best path to success.”

Wachtel aims to focus Future Shack on international co-production. Many veteran US producers are looking for creative trading and talent scouting opportunities in non-US markets, thanks to the rise of streamers with a global subscriber base. Veterans in the US industry are urged to take advantage of low-cost production bases outside the US and copyright rules in the UK and other markets that are more favorable to independent producers.

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Sam Michaels

“We are creating a new partner-friendly organization that is not afraid to break the precedent, to enable creative freedom and provide our business partners with the most influential stories,” he said. Michaels, a business executive on the cable side of NBC Universal, said. ..

The agreement with Roku Channel specifically covers the development of Future Shack’s “Blue Sky” drama series, which Wachtel became known as the programming chief of NBCUniversal’s USA Network. Think of “suits,” “cyclists,” “royal pains,” and “white-collar workers.” And “Burn Notice”. Wachtel said the wording of the contract was interesting and specific to the genre he was familiar with.

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Choi Yusik

“We are confident that the rapid growth of FAST and AVOD networks will continue to create new demand for ad-friendly content, and we are in a position to provide stories to meet that growing demand,” Choi said. increase.

Also participating in the launch of Future Shack is Larry Sullivan, who was formerly a member of Conan O’Brien’s Conan O’Brien as the president of Creative. Sony Pictures International TV’s Alum, Pamela Parker, is responsible for the business. Francisman Freddie, a former top content sales executive at NBCU, is an advisor to Future Shack.

Future Shack is currently developing projects with renowned author Walter Mosley, especially his novels “Longfall,” “Futureland,” and “Debbie won’t do it anymore.” The company is working on what is called the “fundamental new take” of Orson Scott Card’s novel “Ender’s Game.” A limited series on the theft of 1991 artwork from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is also underway.

Wachtel ran USA Network programming at the height of its original success, starting with the Tony Shahlhoub stirrer “Monk”, which ran from 2002 to 2009. He has been transferred to the president of Universal Content Prods. 2013. He spent two years in London, overseeing NBCU’s international television production business and then left the company in 2020.

Wachtel’s time in London and his experience as a producer and deal maker made him realize that it was a good time to establish an agile production operation that would allow some financing. Investors’ interest in his proprietary content was a pleasant surprise, he said. Wachtel didn’t elaborate on his private equity partner, but he said the company has enough money to get started.

Future Shack will hire a few more executives as the company gets up and running.