Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman are partnering on a new production company under the CBS Studios umbrella, Variety has learned.
The company, 25 Stories, is being built around promoting the voices of people of color and guiding them on entertainment career paths. NBC veteran Bruce Evans has come onboard to lead the company, serving in the role of executive vice president.
“25 Stories began in my kitchen in 2017 during a marathon screenwriting weekend for about 25 women of color, all extraordinary writers,” said Lumet. “I knew I wanted to bring prestige television by writers of color to the marketplace, and I began to think about how to create a space where marginalized voices are centered. A space where both seasoned and newer voices have room to breathe. I thought a lot about scale: intimate stories, family stories, positive stories. I wanted people to emerge from their experience with 25 Stories with the tools to start their own companies. Ultimately, a space that will launch creators. Those 25 writers in my kitchen led me right here.”
Lumet is currently under an overall deal at CBS Studios, as is Kurtzman via Secret Hideout. Kurtzman will continue on at Secret Hideout, which is responsible for the current “Star Trek” television universe. 25 Voices will have its own team separate from Secret Hideout and will focus on developing more grounded stories for broadcast, cable, and streaming.
“I’ve been so lucky to do work I’m proud of in collaboration with brilliant people,” Kurtzman said. “The best way to stand up for everything Jenny and I believe in is to stand behind the mission of 25 Stories. Creating a company solely dedicated to this mission felt like an important next step, to expand on the work we’ve done at Secret Hideout. We’re thrilled Bruce is joining us, and we’re grateful to CBS Studios for believing in this effort enough to make it a reality.”
Lumet is the co-creator and co-showrunner of the upcoming “The Man Who Fell to Earth” series at Showtime alongside Kurtzman. She and Kurtzman also co-created the CBS series “Clarice.” The duo previously co-wrote the “Star Trek: Short Treks” episode “Runaway,” with Lumet also serving as an executive producer on “Star Trek: Discovery” and a co-creator and executive producer on the upcoming series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” She is currently developing a limited series at Showtime about her grandmother, legendary entertainer and activist Lena Horne.
“It is imperative for us as a studio to support the growth of diverse storytelling, by providing a nurturing environment for creative voices to emerge and thrive,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Studios. “This new imprint is in line with the evolving goals of the studio to be more diverse, thoughtfully inclusive, and strategically equitable in telling more kinds of stories. And no one is better suited to support those voices than Jenny, Alex and Bruce. Their combination of experience and creative acumen makes them the ideal trio to lead this venture. We’re honored to be the home of this new and important company.”
In addition to his work on all the new “Star Trek” shows and the previously mentioned projects with Lumet, Kurtzman also recently executive produced “The Comey Rule” for Showtime, where he is also an executive producer on the series “Kavalier and Clay,” an adaptation of Michael Chabon’s acclaimed novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.”
Evans was most recently the executive vice president of current programming at NBC. During his time at the network, he worked on shows like “This Is Us,” “Manifest,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Good Place,” and the “Chicago” and “Law & Order” franchises.
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