Endeavor Content is ushering in the season of change.
The mega-production company, which was founded in 2017 using sales, production, and distribution assets within Endeavor, WME, and IMG, has officially rebranded as Fifth Season following a new partnership with Korean studio CJ ENM.
CJ ENM, the media conglomerate behind Oscar winner “Parasite,” paid $785 million to acquire an 80 percent stake in Endeavor Content before the rebrand. The new name is inspired by Eastern medicine, which recognizes a “fifth season” as a celebratory time of harvest in the late summer. Thus, the timing of the announcement post-Labor Day couldn’t be more perfect. And what a crop of originals does Fifth Season have to harvest: the company is expected to produce more than $1 billion in TV and film projects over the course of the next year, with new seasons of “Severance,” “See,” “Tokyo Vice,” and upcoming AppleTV+ show “Lady in the Lake.”
Fifth Season also funds Amazon Prime Video’s first Australian original, “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart,” starring Sigourney Weaver. Tom Brady’s “80 For Brady” is additionally in the works from the company, which backed Oscar nominee “The Lost Daughter” and “Cha Cha Real Smooth.”
Fifth Season is run by co-CEOS Graham Taylor and Chris Rice, as well as COO Tim Robinson and CFO Kasee Calabrese. Joe Hipps, EVP, TV Development and Production runs the TV side of the business with Alexis Garcia, EVP, Film Group leading the features department. Kevin Iwashina is SVP, Documentary, and Prentiss Fraser is EVP, Television Distribution, along with Todd Sharp (leading film and TV physical production), EVP, Head of Production and Current.
Per an official press statement the “strategic rebrand is a natural evolution of Fifth Season’s autonomy and strength, and its position as a major independent studio, delivering more than 30 series and films a year and producing more than $1 billion of projects over the coming calendar year.”
Co-CEO Taylor recently told Deadline that CJ ENM was the first choice as a majority stakeholder.
“While it is a massive, $20 plus billion-dollar publicly traded company, it very much feels like a family-run business,” Taylor said. “Aspirationally for us, we want to be with partners that look at the business and make 10, 20, 30-year decisions, which is kind of antithetical to how the rest of Hollywood works.”
Fifth Season is expected to fund more projects in Asia, as well as partner with British firms Motive Pictures, The Ink Factory and The Story Collective, Nordic Drama Queens in Scandinavia, Dreamchaser in Australia, and Blink49 Studios in Canada.
“Obviously, we’d be crazy not to take advantage of the synergy opportunities, and the full support from them has been fantastic,” co-CEO Rice added.