Please wait...
Please wait...

Upgrade Productions taps Mediawan, Leonine exec Kusser to oversee series

LA-based Upgrade Productions has hired Caroline Kusser, executive VP of international coproduction at France’s Mediawan and Leonine Studios.

Caroline Kusser (photo: Anna McMaster)

In her new role as executive VP and head of series, Kusser will oversee the development, distribution strategy and production of Upgrade’s series projects alongside co-presidents Matt Brodlie and Jonathan Kier.

The prodco was set up in October last year in partnership with German firm Constantin Film and develops and produces premium local-language series and films for global audiences.

LA-based Kusser, who will report to Brodlie and Kier, joined Mediawan and Leonine Studios at the beginning of this year after six years at Fremantle, where she was executive VP of international coproduction and distribution.

Kusser was responsible for all TV coproduction activities at Mediawan and Leonine Studios, managing and coordinating shows across more than 60 production companies during her short stint at the company.

She also drove the development of Leonine Studios’ global distribution from its LA office in the additional role of Leonine Studios’ executive VP of world sales.

At Fremantle, Kusser was involved in closing coproduction deals with Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Starz and Nat Geo and worked on series including Picnic at Hanging Rock (Foxtel/Amazon), Dublin Murders (BBC/Starz/Starzplay), The Sister (ITV/Hulu) and The Jump (Stan/AMC/Sundance).

Kusser worked for 10 years in the US for Red Arrow International, where she rose to senior VP at the production and distribution outfit.

Brodlie is a former senior VP of international at Disney+, which he joined from Netflix, where he was director of international film. Kier, meanwhile, spent more than a decade with film finance, production and foreign sales company Sierra/Affinity.

Kusser joins Upgrade as it continues to grow its slate of international programming, which includes the eight-part Japanese-language series A True Novel, Spanish-language series La Jaula, Aussie comedy Sausages (working title) and Twenty Faces, based on the book series written by Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Ranpo.

“Caroline brings a wealth of development, production and distribution experience to the role and is the ideal executive to spearhead our growing series slate,” said Brodlie and Kier in a joint statement.

“She has an extraordinary track record with tremendous relationships in the industry and we are delighted that she is joining Upgrade during this exciting time of growth.”


Please wait...