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Entertainment One’s Canadian operation rebranded under Lionsgate banner

US police procedural The Rookie was produced for ABC

The Canadian operation of Entertainment One (eOne) has officially been rebranded under the Lionsgate umbrella.

The new entity, Lionsgate Canada, is launching around six months after Lionsgate acquired eOne from toy giant Hasbro for around US$375m, plus the assumption of production financing loans.

The deal brought eOne’s scripted and unscripted TV business, in addition to its 6,500-title film and TV library, under the Lionsgate umbrella.

Series produced under the former eOne brand include US police procedural The Rookie for ABC, drama Yellowjackets for Showtime and the Discovery unscripted show Naked & Afraid.

On the unscripted side, eOne-owned prodcos Renegade 83, Blackfin, Whizz Kid Entertainment and Daisybeck Studios became part of the Lionsgate portfolio, in addition to eOne’s unscripted businesses in the US, the UK and Canada. The company subsequently launched Lionsgate Alternative Television, which houses Lionsgate’s majority-owned unscripted production banner Pilgrim Media Group and the eOne unscripted assets.

At its Canadian office, there was a significant reorganisation earlier this year as former Boat Rocker exec Kerry Appleyard was named senior VP of scripted and unscripted.

At the same time, it was revealed Canada exec VP Tecca Crosby was exiting the business after 12 years. Crosby had shepherded the scripted content strategy with series including Private Eyes, Mary Kills People, Moonshine, Bitten and The Spencer Sisters.

A raft of senior executives from the former eOne, including Appleyard and Canada TV president Jocelyn Hamilton, will be attending the Banff World Media Festival with name badges bearing the new brand.

Lionsgate Canada and Headspinner Productions are currently producing the holiday-themed series Mistletoe Murders, created by Ken Cuperus.

Based on the hit Audible podcast of the same name, the project follows the owner of a Christmas-themed store who investigates murders with the help of a local policeman and his daughter. Hamilton is exec producing alongside Cuperus and Headspinner’s Michelle Melanson. The series starts production in Toronto this month and will also air on W Network in Canada.

While the eOne rebrand had been expected, it will be tinged with sadness for some within the Canadian industry. For years, many felt that eOne represented the biggest and best that Canada had to offer on the world stage in terms of making and selling content. Under founder Darren Throop, it was also a prime example of a Canada-headquartered studio that had aggressively pursued international expansion and successfully established robust businesses in markets including the US and the UK.

When it was sold to Hasbro in 2019 for around US$3.8bn, driven in large part by preschool franchise juggernaut Peppa Pig, many were astonished that a content-focused Canada-based studio could drive such an enormous valuation.

However, the marriage with Hasbro did not prove to be a good one, and the toymaking giant put eOne on the market (minus Peppa Pig and several other preschool brands) in late 2022.

The rebrand marks the beginning of a new era for Lionsgate Canada, which said it now boasts the country’s largest content distribution library. It also plugs the former eOne Canada business into the larger, recently launched Lionsgate Studios brand, which includes the Lionsgate motion picture group, the television studio and its 20,000-title library.

While the eOne brand is being discontinued in Canada, it should be noted that the eOne brand name will continue to be used in some places on the unscripted side of the business.


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