Select Fox Television Stations will air a five-week run of Central Avenue, an entertainment news strip, starting Nov. 4. The show will be produced by Lionsgate-owned Debmar Mercury in partnership with Will Packer Media. If the show does well during its limited run, it could be taken into national syndication.
“We can’t wait to work with someone this successful who, when you ask how many syndicated strips they’ve worked on before, the answer is ‘none.’ I have to believe we’re going to get something fresh here. Will Packer doesn’t know what he can’t do in this space. That, to me, is invigorating,” said Frank Cicha, EVP of programming for Fox Television Stations, in a statement.
Central Avenue aims to present pop culture through a socially conscious and diverse lens. BET’s Julissa Bermudez will co-host with Olympic track star Sanya Richards-Ross.
The series marks the second collaboration between Debmar-Mercury and Packer. They also are producing upcoming drama Ambitions for OWN.
“Will Packer brings an entirely new and vibrant vision to syndication with Central Ave,” said Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus in a statement. “We are excited to fill a need in the marketplace for a magazine show like this by partnering once again with our good friends at the Fox stations and a team headed by an A-List film producer of the caliber of Will.”
“Central Ave will stand out in the newsmag space by presenting a unique first-person perspective on the culture-driving, trendsetting topics that mainstream audiences have a voracious appetite for,’ said Packer, who has produced such films as Girls Trip and Night School. “Being fronted by fresh voices that happen to be diverse and female gives us license to do stories in a way no one else can.”
Will Packer Media and distributor Debmar-Mercury will co-produce the series, with Packer, Kelly Smith and showrunner Monique Chenault serving as executive producers.