New company to focus globally on development and production of scripted entertainment
WME Partner and Literary Agent Melissa Myers has been named President and Partner of a new venture between Kinetic Content founder and CEO Chris Coelen (Creator & Executive Producer, Love Is Blind; Married at First Sight), and Red Arrow Studios, the production division of European media company ProSiebenSat.1.
Set to focus on premium high-end English-language scripted TV series with both domestic and global appeal, the venture will harness creativity and strategic alliances from across the world. Myers’ hiring and Red Arrow’s backing of the new venture underlines the importance of English-speaking scripted content to Red Arrow’s production and distribution business.
As a partner in the TV department at WME, Myers led the international charge for two decades at the powerhouse talent agency, spearheading the International Scripted Department by building a multi-faceted roster of award-winning writers, directors, and talent while specializing in global changed-format rights for high-end producers across the world.
Coelen and Kinetic Content, a Red Arrow Studios company, currently create and produce groundbreaking international hits including multiple Emmy nominee; Love Is Blind for Netflix. A global phenomenon ranked number one on the service in territories around the world for multiple weeks after its launch, Love Is Blind has been ordered for an additional two seasons. Kinetic also produces Married at First Sightfor Lifetime, a sensation that has ranked as the number one series on the network for three straight years, growing its ratings each year. Married at First Sight is the most locally produced relationship format in the world, and this month Lifetime commissioned Kinetic to produce an unprecedented 400 hour, six season order of the US version of the show, with multiple spin off series.
“I am excited to be joining the Kinetic and Red Arrow Studios family where I look forward to capitalizing on my expertise by leading their push into scripted entertainment. I have long admired Chris and his strategic approach to building his business creating and selling shows,” said Melissa Myers. “As fellow former agents in the international business, we are in lockstep in how we view the ever- changing scripted and global marketplace and where we look for growth and opportunity. I look forward to partnering with Chris and Red Arrow in building this exciting new company into a creative force, as well as building up all our frequent flyer miles when we are able to travel again.”
“I’ve been pursuing the opportunity to work with Melissa for well over a year, and she’s the perfect person to lead this new scripted venture for us,” stated Chris Coelen. “With the backing and global reach of Red Arrow Studios and Kinetic, Melissa’s skill in sourcing outstanding material and her international standing as an artist-friendly leader will help create a collaborative environment where we’ll work with incredible storytellers from every corner of the planet, to bring their amazingly diverse and fascinating points-of-view to the widest possible audience.”
Henrik Pabst, Chief Content Officer of SevenOne Entertainment, the entertainment arm of ProSiebenSat.1, and a member of the Red Arrow Studios advisory board, says: “English-speaking scripted is a vital part of Red Arrow’s international business, and continues to play a role on our channels. Chris Coelen’s ambitious move into scripted, and the hire of Melissa Myers, is incredibly exciting, and we look forward to working with the whole team.”
Coelen’s international ties run deep. As a partner at United Talent Agency, Coelen created and ran the Alternative and International TV Departments. He left UTA to become the founding CEO of the North American arm of British production company RDF Media, which ultimately was bought by Banijay, where he produced hits such as Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire, and Don’t Forget the Lyrics. In 2010, following his tenure at RDF, Coelen founded Kinetic Content, subsequently partnering with Red Arrow Studios.
Myers’ clients at WME included British production outfits Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Outlander, Strike Back), Big Talk Productions (Crashing, Friday Night Dinner), Riff Raff Productions (Jude Law), Red Productions (Years & Years, Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax), World Productions (The Bodyguard, Line of Duty), 11th Hour Films (Alex Rider, Foyle’s War, Collision), Monumental Films (Harlots, Ghosts), Me + You Productions (An Idiot Abroad, Sick of it, I AM), Archery Pictures (The Winx, Riviera, The State), and Channel X (The Detectorists).
Myers also represented a slew of international artists who she helped cross over into the US including SJ Clarkson (Anatomy of a Scandal, Succession, Collateral, Jessica Jones), Anthony Byrne (Peaky Blinders), Ben Taylor (Sex Education, Catastrophe), Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey, Speechless), James Griffiths (Stumptown, A Million Little Things, Blackish, Episodes), Francesca Gardiner (Succession), Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley), Toby Haynes (Utopia, Black Mirror), Jane Fallon (Teachers), Peter Hoar (Umbrella Academy), Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Oliver Lansley (Flack), Mika Watkins (Origin) and Oliver Refson & Lilah Vanderburgh (Uncle). She also helped cross over a host of writer/performers including Ed Weeks (The Mindy Project), Sarah Solemani (Barry), Alex Edelman (The Great Indoors), Tessa Coates (Primates), Janine Harouni (Edinburgh Fringe Festival winner Best Newcomer 2019), Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler (Upper Middle Bogan), among many others.
Myers, a Southern California native and UCSD alumna, began her career at ICM before moving to Endeavor in 1999, where she worked for over two decades, first as assistant to Ariel Emanuel and Richard Weitz, then as an agent, before eventually rising to partner at WME. A well-known Anglophile, Myers serves on the board of BAFTA LA, and for the past decade co-hosts a Holiday British Pub Quiz at Barneys Beanery to raise money for My Friends Place, a non-profit providing services to Los Angeles homeless youth. She is an active member of various industry and charitable organizations including ATAS, HRTS and Power to Decide. Myers’ two passions are working and traveling abroad, rarely ever doing one without the other.