Towers to produce 100 content hours this year

Factual programming behemoth Towers Productions has signed new deals with Discovery and author-adventurer James Campbell as part of a projected 100 hours of content it will produce in 2009.

Production has begun on projects related to both agreements as Towers hopes to equal a record-breaking 2008, while the company’s move into rentals and postproduction is already a proving a success.

The Discovery deal is for 30 hours of new original content, spread across several of the broadcaster’s networks, Fisher says.

Highlights of the slate include a prison show called “Hard Time,” which just premiered on Discovery to great acclaim, and 20 hours of programming for Animal Planet, including a continuation of the popular half-hour series “Animal Witness.”

Fitting with Tower’s history of producing criminal justice television is “Undercover: Double Life,” a 13 hour series due to premiere on ID (Investigation Discovery) early this year. Other shows are “Secret America,” “The Science of Interrogation,” and “Most Wanted.”

“We have a really good relationship with Discovery,” says Fisher. “They’ve been a really important client for us in the last year.”

Towers also has high hopes for the projects resulting from their three-part agreement with bestselling author James Campbell.

Fisher compares Campbell’s “Ghost Mountain Boys,” which is based on the author’s attempt to replicate the nightmarish journey of WW2 American soldiers in the jungle, to the documentary films of Werner Herzog.

“He was obsessed with this story, and flew to Papua New Guinea on his own money and hired a local crew to document this trip,” Fisher says.

Campbell then approached Towers with a proposal to recut the footage in partnership with his own newly formed Compass Point Productions.