TIME Studios unveils first-ever Kids & Family programming arm and expands award-winning Documentary division with eight-figure production commitment and new hires
Los Angeles, CA (NOVEMBER 18, 2021) – TIME Studios, the Emmy Award®-winning television and film production division of TIME, which launched in 2020, is expanding its creative ranks, departments and overall production spend. Since launching in early 2020, TIME Studios has generated more than $70M in revenue, including approximately $50M in 2021 alone. Within the last 12 months, more than 20 projects from TIME Studios have been sold to streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, Paramount+, as well as to TV networks and other distributors, including HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC, A&E, Magnolia and CNN Films.
With over 13 Emmy ® nominations, including three wins to date, TIME Studios has become home for the world’s most impactful storytelling and top creative voices. Fueled by early success with over 25 projects in production and 100 projects in active development, TIME Studios tapped Alexandra Johnes and Loren Hammonds to lead its Documentary division and Maria Perez-Brown to spearhead its new Kids & Family programming arm. Additional creative new hires and promotions include Rebecca Teitel as VP of Documentary, Rebecca Gitlitz as Director and Showrunner and Jeff Smith as Executive Producer and Showrunner.
For the first time, TIME Studios is investing in Kids & Family programming with a new division dedicated to bringing innovative and informative storytelling to young viewers and their families. Like the TIME for Kids brand, which has delivered information and education to millions of kids around the world for the last 25 years, this new division of TIME Studios aims to amplify the vibrant world that kids inhabit, engage their curiosity and inspire them to take action. TIME Studios Kids & Family expands on success in the space with the Daytime Emmy® Award-nominated Kid of the Year television special, which will return to Nickelodeon in early 2022 recognizing extraordinary young leaders who are making amazing contributions in a range of fields. TIME Studios Kids & Family has also sealed a deal with Canadian premier animation studio Nelvana to co-produce an animated preschool series. Also in development is an in-house project, TFK’s The Scoop, a news magazine series featuring Puppet Kid Reporters who bring news and current events to young kids in tangible, entertaining and age-appropriate ways.
Building on the success of its fast-growing documentary division, TIME Studios today announced the launch of a new eight-figure commitment to greenlight and produce original documentary work, as well as invest in aligned external productions. Led by Co-Heads Johnes and Hammonds and VP of Documentary Rebecca Teitel, the division will deficit finance and support productions that further TIME’s mission to provide trusted guidance for humanity and tell stories about the people and ideas that shape and improve the world. With more than 20 documentary projects currently in production, TIME Studios will continue to serve as a home to the world’s most talented creatives while empowering the next generation of filmmakers.
“We are thrilled to bring this group of talented creators together to continue to bring forth the inspiration and passion of TIME Studios projects, solidifying our mission to impact the world,” said TIME Studios President Ian Orefice. “Our growth since launching a little over a year ago has been a remarkable team effort, and we are proud of all we are accomplishing with our incredible partners.”
As previously announced, the Scripted division of TIME Studios will be run by Kaveh Veyssi, VP of Film & TV, TIME Studios, as part of a strategic alliance with Sugar23.
TIME Studios’ new hires and promotions include:
Maria Perez-Brown, Head of Kids & Family
- Perez-Brown is television executive and creator of Emmy Award winning children’s content. She is the founder of Brown Kids Media, where she developed content for leading television brands including Nickelodeon, Disney, Sesame Workshop and Nelvana. Perez-Brown is the creator and executive producer of Nickelodeon’s TAINA and the multiple award-winning pre-school series GULLAH GULLAH ISLAND. Perez-Brown was Head of Programming for NuvoTV where she oversaw development of content for their linear and digital channel. As an Adjunct professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, Perez-Brown taught writing, and the Art of the Pitch. She is the author of Mama: Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers and Co-Author of Latino Leaders Speak.
Alexandra Johnes, Head of Documentary
- Johnes is an Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed producer. Prior to joining TIME Studios, Johnes produced documentaries for renowned directors including Alex Gibney, Jehane Noujaim, Lauren Greenfield, Lucy Walker and the filmmaking team of Amy Ziering & Kirby Dick. She previously ran Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, paving the way for the company’s 2012 sale to Content Media Corp and subsequent 2020 sale to Imagine Entertainment. Her roster of films includes AMAZING GRACE (Neon) about Aretha Franklin, ON THE RECORD (HBOMax) about the investigation of Russell Simmons, the cult expose HOLY HELL (CNN Films), and the Oscar-nominated THE SQUARE (Netflix Originals). Johnes also executive produced the fiction indie box office hit Robert Eggers’ film THE WITCH (A24 & Universal), which grossed over $40M at the box office. She is a voting member of the Academy Awards.
Loren Hammonds, Head of Documentary
- Hammonds was most recently VP of Immersive Programming at Tribeca Enterprises and Senior Programmer at Tribeca Festival. He has worked extensively in production as well as in various curatorial roles for The Gotham (formerly IFP), POV, Tribeca All-Access, and Hamptons International Film Festival. Hammonds helped to guide several remarkable documentary films to successful world premieres, including A SUITABLE GIRL (Amazon), 17 BLOCKS (MTV Films), STRAY (Magnolia), and BITCHIN’: THE SOUND AND FURY OF RICK JAMES (Mass Appeal/Showtime). In 2021, he Executive Produced RICKY POWELL: THE INDIVIDUALIST with TIME Studios.
Rebecca Teitel, VP, Documentary
- Teitel currently focuses on the development and production of premium feature documentaries and non-scripted television, including JEEN-YUHS (Netflix), KATRINA BABIES (HBO), BLACK GOLD (Paramount +), and BIG VAPE (Netflix). She will be promoted to Vice President, TIME Studios Documentary. Prior to joining TIME Studios, Rebecca worked as a director, producer and journalist. Her work has premiered at Tribeca and DOCNYC and been featured on National Geographic, the Sundance Channel, Discovery, NBC, the History Channel, BET, and in The New York Times, among other networks and publications.
Rebecca Gitlitz, Director/Showrunner
- Gitlitz is a two-time Emmy-winning producer and director with a strong focus on films highlighting trailblazing females. Rebecca has directed documentaries on Pat Summit, Peyton Manning, Robin Roberts, Caitlyn Jenner, LeBron James, and Arthur Ashe. Recently, Rebecca directed the critically acclaimed ABC primetime special, The Story of Diana, which aired in August of 2017, and was watched by over 20 million viewers. She then directed the Story of the Royals and The Story of Soaps and 50 years of Sunny Days- a journey through the transcendent programming of Sesame Street. Rebecca has also produced the Marvel Hero Project for Disney + and Emmy Nominated Kid of the Year and Person of the Year.
Jeff Smith, Executive Producer/Showrunner
- Smith is a prolific showrunner and executive producer, specializing in award-winning formats and globally scaled live events. He has led the productions on the world’s biggest stages including TIME Person of the Year, the ESPY Awards, NFL Honors, TIME Kid of the Year, Fox New Year’s Eve and the ACLU benefit Stand For Rights. Recently, Jeff was part of the Peabody Award winning team that honored over 140 Sister Survivors on the ESPYS stage.
As part of its mission to deliver impactful storytelling that illuminates larger societal and global issues, TIME Studios has announced several recent and upcoming projects:
- JEEN-YUHS (Netflix), a trilogy featuring Kanye West, is directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah and lands on Netflix in 2022.
- KATRINA BABIES (HBO), a feature documentary from first-time director Edward Buckles, Jr., offers an intimate look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on the youth of New Orleans, co-produced with Invisible Pictures.
- COUNTDOWN: INSPIRATION4 MISSION TO SPACE (Netflix), currently streaming on Netflix, chronicles the first-ever all civilian mission into orbit, directed by Jason Hehir (The Last Dance) and co-produced with Known and Words & Pictures.
- TIPPING POINT, with Executive Producer Trevor Noah, tackles the biggest issues of our time in a 10-part documentary series and is produced in partnership with Noah’s Day Zero Productions, Sugar23 and P&G Studios.
- BIG VAPE (Netflix), a documentary series based on the book Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul, from TIME correspondent Jamie Ducharme. Directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Amblin Entertainment.
- RIGHT TO OFFEND: THE BLACK COMEDY REVOLUTION (A&E), examines the legacy of Black comedians challenging social conventions with humor.
- RICKY POWELL: THE INDIVIDUALIST (Showtime), a feature documentary about legendary photographer Ricky Powell, who rose to unexpected fame as an unfiltered street photographer capturing the downtown New York City scene of the 80s and 90s. Directed by Josh Swade.
- BLACK GOLD (CBS/Paramount+), a limited documentary series co-produced with Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa, captures a decades-long campaign to trade our planet for profit.
- MASS EFFECT: The Story of YouTube, a feature documentary about the history of the online giant and its impact on society, directed by Alex Winter.
- On the scripted side, the company is in series development on WOMEN OF THE YEAR for Amazon. Created by award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el, featuring visionaries who played critical roles in our society’s greatest achievements over the past century.
About TIME Studios
From one of the most globally iconic brands, TIME Studios is an Emmy Award®-winning television, film and immersive studio focusing on the development, production and distribution of truth-based premium unscripted and scripted storytelling that moves the world. With technical innovation and a brand defining visual language that dates back 98 years, TIME Studios aims to impact communities and the world at large with ideas that forge true progress. Combining the industry’s leading creators with TIME, one of the most trusted brands that reaches an audience of over 100 million people globally, TIME Studios is uniquely positioned to bring massive audiences to the world’s most impactful stories. Recent projects include: Jeen-Yuhs (Netflix), Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space (Netflix), Katrina Babies (HBO), Black Gold (Paramount+), Big Vape (Netflix), John Lewis: Good Trouble (CNN Films), Amazing Grace (Neon), Right to Offend (A&E), Ricky Powell: The Individualist (Showtime), Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube, Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon/CBS), TIME 100 (ABC) and the first scripted project for TIME Studios, Women of the Year (Amazon).
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