Oprah Winfrey’s production company has entered into a new and exclusive three-year deal with HBO to develop movies and miniseries, reports Variety.
After working with ABC for 15 years, Winfrey’s Harpo Films decided to do business with the cable network, where Winfrey expects to develop a more eclectic mix of programming than was featured on the more positive-leaning ABC.
“ABC was always incredibly supportive of us, but there are natural limitations to being on network TV, part of that being ratings and commercial sponsorship,” said Harpo Films president Kate Forte. “It just seemed like a natural progression to meet with HBO, especially after the strong message I’ve been getting (from Winfrey) for the last year and a half that a lot of our projects seemed right for HBO.”
According to HBO co-president Richard Plepler, the pact was made without any specific development in mind. “I don’t think the number of ideas will be a problem,” he said. “The question will be, ‘How can we do everything?’“
Adds Michael Lombardo, president of HBO’s programming group and West Coast operations: “We generally don’t have a lot of overall deals with producers with whom we don’t have current shows. But when we met Kate and Oprah, it was obvious that this was the right deal to make.”