Power producer Will Packer is partnering with Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures for Will Packer Media, a "first-of-its-kind production and branded content company." Packer himself will serve as CEO. His Will Packer Productions, which has a first-look film production deal at Universal Pictures, will continue to operate as a separate entity.
The venture will focus on "the New American Mainstream audience, with an urban millennial core that is defining and driving pop culture at large."
"We have put together a dream team of the best talent and partners to help us create bold and fresh content for audiences hungry for something special. We are creating a new model for content production that sees TV and digital as equals, and combines the best of storytelling and brands for an underserved audience," said Packer.
As a part of Discovery's investment, this partnership includes a first-look television deal with OWN.
This is huge, considering OWN just ended their exclusive first-look TV deal with Tyler Perry, to enter into first-look deals with Packer and duo Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil.
"Will Packer has an incredible track record of proven hits and we couldn't be more excited to work together on new scripted and unscripted programming opportunities for OWN with this new venture. His unique voice and connection with audiences is unparalleled." said Erik Logan, President, OWN.
Packer is responsible for films like the Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises, as well as movies like The Wedding RInger, Stomp the Yard and the recently-released blockbuster, Girls Trip. He also executive-produced Straight Outta Compton, executive-produced the Roots remake, among other things -- and is the EP for BET's Being Mary Jane.