Participant Media, the production company known for focusing on socially relevant scripted films and documentaries like "Good Night, and Good Luck," "The Cove," "Syriana" and "An Inconvenient Truth," is getting into the television business.
They've announced the hiring of Evan Shapiro, who's been serving as the president of IFC TV and the Sundance Channel, to head up TV programming in the same vein as their films. No specifics yet as to what that will entail, but here's the press release quote from CEO Jim Berk: "Expanding Participant's brand of storytelling into television is both a natural progression and integral part of our expansion strategy. Evan’s tremendous impact in transforming the IFC and Sundance networks combined with his genuine interest in socially relevant media make him the perfect choice."
The season-length runs of the typical TV program would seem to offer more time to build up the social action campaigns that Participant has launched in conjunction with each new film — like the Artists in Exile series the company started to go with "Circumstance."
In the meantime, Participant has two new features opening May 4th — Jessica Yu water crisis doc "Last Call at the Oasis" (getting a release from ATO Pictures) and British retiree dramedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (getting a release from Fox Searchlight).