Discovery Partners with Howard, Grazer

Discovery Communications is taking a big step toward developing quality digital content by partnering with award-winning content creators Brian Grazer and Ron Howard on a new digital production company.

The company, New Form, will focus on developing high quality, scripted and unscripted programming for digital viewers, Discovery announced Thursday. Content created by New Form will be available through a series of partnerships, with the possibility of distribution across Discovery and other global platforms.

New Form, based in Los Angeles, will be helmed by newly appointed chief creative officer Kathleen Grace. Howard and Grazer are the creative minds behind such projects as 24, Arrested Development, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile and American Gangster.

“We are excited and proud to have the most accomplished and creative minds in all of film and television investing with us in New Form,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications in a statement. “Brian and Ron are best-in-class storytellers, and we look forward to developing compelling programming for today’s digital viewers. This creative powerhouse, coupled with Discovery’s strong programming expertise and our ability to engage viewers across our global platforms, is an unparalleled combination.”

Added Glazer: “Technology is rapidly changing the entertainment landscape for studios, producers and audiences, and Ron and I could not think of a better partner to invest with than Discovery to expand beyond film and television and enter into the digital frontier.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.