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United Talent Agency jumps into TV production in deal with studio behind 'House of Cards'

United Talent Agency jumps into TV production in deal with studio behind 'House of Cards'
Robin Wright in a scene from the Netflix series "House of Cards." (David Giesbrecht / TNS)

United Talent Agency is joining the rush of Hollywood agencies into the television production business by partnering with the studio behind the Netflix series “House of Cards” and “Ozark.”

United Talent Agency said Wednesday that it has formed a joint venture with Valence Media and its Media Rights Capital division to develop, produce and finance TV series and partner with creative talent. The Beverly Hills agency will have a minority stake in the venture, which will be called Civic Center Media.

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Financial terms were not disclosed.

Media Rights Capital is the studio behind both “House of Cards” and “Ozark” as well as the movies “Baby Driver” and “Ted.”

United Talent Agency said that the arrangement is nonexclusive for both it and Media Rights Capital, and that Civic Center Media will seek to develop projects with artists represented by all talent agencies.

However, United Talent Agency said in Wednesday’s announcement that its clients will have access to “significant resources for development and production” and that Civic Center Media will be able to offer “more attractive terms” to partners who bring their projects to the studio.

“As we looked at the landscape of potential partners and content models, our priority was to work with a studio that puts artists and creators first,” United Talent Agency Chief Executive Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement. “MRC shares our ‘artist first’ mentality and our belief that the time has come for a new business model that offers more creative control and ownership opportunities to artists.”

United Talent Agency is the latest Hollywood talent agency to delve into the production business. Last year, Endeavor launched Endeavor Content, which spearheads the company’s TV and movie projects. Creative Artists Agency is also pursuing TV production, hiring former ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee, who is pursuing production deals.

United Talent Agency and Valence didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal. The companies said a search is underway for an executive to lead the new venture.

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