TV show ideas pitched to networks

Detroit-area producer Bob Brown is pitching a slate of scripted and unscripted TV series to networks that would be produced in Michigan.

“The television business is consistent and by getting a series on the air it will help build the infrastructure of cast, crew and facilities,” Brown said.

One scripted and five unscripted shows are being offered through Charity Island Television, which he said “was created to help my goal of providing opportunity to the talent that lives in Michigan.”

It’s a division of his Farmington, Mich. production company, Charity Island Pictures.

Brown is financing the shows through private equity. He declined to give details until programs are greenlit, but said he’s pitching the series to networks including “HBO and the like. The scripted stuff is big ? unscripted isn’t.”

Brown is also scheduled to start production next spring on the long-gestating feature “The Bass Master,” a biopic of bass fishing icon Bryan Kerchal.

The production was pushed from this fall, when Sean Faris (“Never Back Down”), Will Patton (“Remember the Titans”) and Sophia Myles (“Underworld”) were attached. “I hope they are available when we shoot in May-June ’09,” Brown said.

A longtime entrepreneur, Brown entered the film industry as executive producer of Jeff Daniels’ 2001 directorial debut “Escanaba in a da Moonlight,” which Brown led to breakout success in a Midwest theatrical self-release.

Brown produced the less successful 2002 Daniels comedy “Super Sucker,” Mike Meiners’ 2005 Chicago comedy “The Trouble with Dee Dee,” and the 2005 horror pic “Silent Scream.”

Last February, SenArt Films released “Bonneville,” starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen and Tom Skerritt, shot in Utah on which Brown was executive producer.

“Bonneville” opened on 100 screens, and grossed under half a million dollars through April 11.

“We hit and missed theatrically depending on the market,” Brown said. “The sunshine states did very well. Others not so much.”

Fox released the DVD June 24. “Rentals have been above expectation, while sell-through has been a little soft,” Brown said. “I think overall we’ll do fine. As always, it just takes a little longer than we expected.”

As a recently reappointed three-term member of the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council, Brown authored a national film tax incentive economic impact study that was instrumental in passing Michigan’s 30-42% tax credit last March.

“It was easy for Gov. [Jennifer] Granholm’s office to vet the positive economic impact those states that embraced film incentives earlier than Michigan have received,” Brown said. “The legislature and the Governor pretty much followed my recommendations when the legislation was drafted.”

The impact of the credit, he stated, has been “huge – $300 million within the first 12 months conservatively.” Nonetheless, the Michigan Senate Financed Committee voted last week to cap next year’s total credit at $50 million, far below this year’s total credit, which was projected to be as high as $150 million.

Charity Island Pictures is at 23629 Liberty Street, Suite 202, Farmington, Michigan. Call 248/476-4575 or see