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Philip leads Starlings’ flight to TV

Feature film company Starlings Entertainment is officially launching its television division, with former Televisa USA exec Chris Philip at the helm.

Chris Philip

Philip, previously Televisa USA’s head of production and distribution, has worked with Starlings since last year to develop, coproduce and co-finance original scripted content.

Already on Starlings Television’s slate is Pandora, a 13-episode young-adult science fiction series ordered by The CW, which begins airing next month.

Starlings recently agreed a deal with Sony International to handle international distribution. It is also producing Departure, alongside Shaftesbury in Canada, which will air on Global Television Network in Canada and NBC Universal Channels in select international territories.

It stars Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer and Emmy winner Archie Panjabi.

Starlings Television is also currently working with Ben Silverman’s Propagate on a slate of scripted dramas from both companies.

Their first show is set up at an as-yet-unannounced premium US network, with Robert Rodriguez directing and executive producing and Academy Award winner David Franzoni writing.

Starlings Entertainment describes itself as a collection of interconnected companies that focus on financing and producing smartly budgeted, highly commercial live-action and animated films and television programmes along with other media.

Projects are developed in-house as well as sourced from a network of affiliates and longstanding producer relationships. The company is led by CEO Karine Martin and president Jeffrey W Stentz.

Starlings has established a production financing fund designed to invest in a portfolio of partly or wholly owned projects over a multi-year term, the latest of which was Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Philip spent 13 years as a VP at Universal and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment before Universal acquired PolyGram. He then became president at London-based Power Television, where he helped package, sell and produce two NBC series.

Philip then launched Engine Entertainment, which partnered with Silverman’s Electus, launching their international division.

Philip produced with Sierra Affinity and executive produced NBC’s primetime drama Siberia before going on to produce for Televisa and head its English-language scripted initiative, setting up six series at US networks.

“We are creating a well-balanced slate while adjusting to the constant shift in content creation by offering co-financing to networks, studio partners, producers and writers worldwide,” said Philip.

“We are looking forward to working with top talent as we acquire, create and develop engaging TV projects that will appeal to both the US and international markets,” added Martin.


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