In a move to bring its content to more screens—big and small—Harlequin has launched Harlequin Studios. Harlequin CEO and publisher Craig Swinwood said the studio will aim to "expand the reach and breadth of our author franchises to grow beyond the book market while cultivating new fans through the development of a robust movie catalogue.”
To be overseen by executive v-p Brent Lewis, Harlequin Studios will draw on IP currently under the publisher’s umbrella, which includes over 30,000 books. The goal of the studio is to better position these titles to be adapted for film and television. To that end, Harlequin Studios has already struck a deal with Canada’s CTV Network, which will adapt the publisher’s content into a series of over 20 made-for-TV movies. The movies will appear on the network’s Drama channel and, per Harlequin, account for over 40 hours of programming that will air in “a Harlequin-branded program block.”
While Lewis conceded said that Harlequin Studio’s initial focus will be on content for which the publisher controls dramatic rights, he noted that “our goal is to enable works by all our authors.”
When asked whether the CTV deal is a template for the kinds of agreements Harlequin Studios can be expected to strike, Lewis said that because “all media is changing and evolving quickly” the studio will “pursue opportunities in different platforms and with different partners.” Lewis, though, declined to offer any comment when asked about whether Harlequin Studios has other agreements pending.