Charter to Wind Down Spectrum Originals

Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba in Spectrum Originals' 'L.A.'s Finest'
Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba in Spectrum Originals' 'L.A.'s Finest' (Image credit: Spectrum Originals)

Charter Communications confirmed its plan to shutter its four-year-old production unit, Spectrum Originals, following the recent exit of its longtime top executive, Katherine Pope, who left to head Sony Pictures Television in July. 

Deadline first reported Charter's decision, and Charter confirmed the move. 

The No. 2 U.S. cable operator launched Spectrum Originals in 2018 with the intention of creating must-see content only available with Charter cable TV service. It made a splashy hire in Pope, known for developing hits including HeroesFriday Night Lights30 Rock, and The Office at NBC, as well as New Girl while serving Peter Chernin's Twentieth Century Fox-based production company, Chernin Entertainment

Pope took a big swing early on, acquiring LA's Finest, a spin-off of the buddy-cop feature film action comedy series Bad Boys. The series, which stars Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, had been rejected by NBC, but Pope's team ultimately couldn't find any traction with it, either. 

Spectrum Originals also developed a revival of Mad About You, as well as Joe Pickett, The Bite, and Paradise Lost.

In March, the unit ordered dramatic comedy Panhandle, and it's set to run George & Tammy, a miniseries based on Tammy Wynette and George Jones, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon, on Paramount Network and Paramount Plus. 

Charter is still working out how it will handle ongoing projects as it winds down the venture.

Spectrum Originals carved out a reputation for cost-efficient production models, such as international co-productions. But ultimately, the rising cost of producing TV shows and movies post-COVID -- coupled with Charter's movement away from linear video interest -- was enough to convince Charter it was time to get out of the original content business. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!