NBC Universal in first-look deal for Canadian start-up


Veteran TV producer Louise Clark has started her own production company in Vancouver, British Columbia. The new venture – Lark Productions – is hardly being started on a lark. It has backing from NBC Universal, which gets first look at the content being developed.

Details of the first look deal with NBC Universal International weren’t revealed, except that it is a multi-year deal. It was important enough for NBCU to distribute the announcement in the US to RBR-TVBR and other outlets. NBCU will provide a development fund for Lark Productions to produce and co-produce content with international appeal for the Canadian market, with the opportunity to distribute its TV content in markets outside Canada.

“The industry is beginning to recognize Canada as one of the world’s best destinations for television production talent, and my goal is to help give fantastic home-grown content a voice through Lark Productions. I plan to build Lark Productions into a content engine for local projects, but with an eye for productions that have the potential to travel internationally,” said Clark.

“Louise is one of the best Canadian television executives and her successful career in production and development is testament to her excellent creative instincts and business acumen. Our decision to get into business with Lark Productions is largely attributed to Louise’s reputation as one of Canada’s top talents,” said Michael Edelstein, President, International Television Production for NBC Universal.

Here are the bios provided for Clark and Haskett:

Clark’s career in production, development and as a broadcast executive spans 25 years across television drama and comedy, feature films, Movies of the Week and documentaries. As Vice-President of Program Development for Canada’s top Network, CTV, Clark developed and oversaw production for five seasons of the number one comedy Corner Gas (with TCN) and three seasons of the critically acclaimed Robson Arms. Additionally, she oversaw production for season one of Flashpoint and the Listener, and set up Defying Gravity – all three shows were groundbreaking Canada/US co-ventures at the time. Other series included Whistler (the N), Kaya (MTV USA), D’Myna Leagues, Mentors, Cold Squad and the International Emmy-award winning Magician’s House.  

Previous to CTV, she served as the Ontario Film Development Corporation’s (OFDC) Head of Production and Development, as well as acting CEO.  There she oversaw all feature film investments and development, as well as TV movies, pilots and documentaries.  Clark is a longtime member of the Board of the National Screen Institute and continues to serve as the Chair of its Program Committee. She was Vancouver Women in Film and Video’s Woman of the Year in 2002.

Erin Haskett joins Clark as Vice-President of Development, overseeing Lark Productions’ slate of projects both in scripted and non-scripted, focusing on the domestic and international marketplace.

Haskett was previously Director of Development at Paperny Films where she oversaw all development, including scripted series, alternative programming, docu-series, reality and lifestyle programs.  Erin developed a number of series, a docu-soap for CityTV Canada, Dussault Inc., a new HGTV Canada series, Consumed and the upcoming Food Network Canada series, Eat Street.

Prior to Paperny, Erin was the Director of Development at Infinity Features where she managed a growing slate of feature film projects including Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and Charles Martin Smith’s The Stone of Destiny.  Erin is a graduate of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre.