A member of Saban Capital Group’s original force has returned to the fold to power up the company’s growing list of investments. Joel Andryc, who did stints as VP of programming and development at both Fox Family Channel and ABC Family Channel in the ’90s, has been lured back to serve as chief creative officer of Saban Entertainment Group.
Charged with hunting down new creative investment opportunities, Andryc will be SCG’s go-to guy in Hollywood. His first order of business will be to identify start-up ventures with potential, new cable networks and animation companies in need of financial partners. ‘I don’t want to start getting pitched individual ideas,’ he says. ‘We’re at a level now where we can make investments and bigger plays to support producers, suppliers and ventures.’
Having said that, smaller projects will still be considered for New York-based Good Times Entertainment, a video production and distribution outfit Saban recently invested in that’s best known for its Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer DTV series. Andryc hopes to pump up Good Times’ slate of mainstream family-driven classic properties with the next SpongeBob SquarePants or a marquee series that could be turned into animated movies or specials. Producers take note: Andryc says he can bring money to the table through the home video route, as well as completing the financial puzzle with a German TV deal, thanks to Saban’s major investment in ProSieben.
The German network, along with sister channels Sat.1 and Kabel, is in need of original series, and Andryc will be the conduit for American properties ready to make the leap. Although he admits the channels aren’t very active in the kids business right now, Andryc is working on finding a Simpsons companion piece for ProSieben and will also keep his eyes peeled for high-end animated holiday specials and younger-skewing comedy series for Sat.1.