Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s indie Merman has opened a new digitally focused arm, Mermade.

Mermade will specialise in the creation of “non-broadcast content of all shapes and sizes, funded by and for social and streaming platforms, brands and publishers, with a particular focus on short-form episodic.”

The development of Mermade follows the 2017 expansion of Merman into LA and NY, and the launch of its branded entertainment and advertising division in both the US and UK. Merman Global Managing Partners Jeremy Rainbird in London and Kira Carstensen in Los Angeles will run Mermade, alongside Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford.

The board of Mermade in the US and UK is bolstered by the addition of non-executive Directors Rene Rechtman and Dan’l Hewitt, both formerly of Maker Studios/Disney.

In the UK, former Channel 4 and All4 commissioning editor Joshua Buckingham has joined as UK Managing Director.

The Development Director USA is Melanie Donkers, who joins the Mermade USA team from Pulse Films and Fullscreen where she was in Digital Development.

"Mermade gives creators control over their output, fostering new and original voices with subject matter that is not bound to convention,” said Horgan. “The digital space allows us to create a format that fits the idea, instead of creating an idea to fit the format. The idea comes first. It’s about working with diverse creators and blurring the lines between TV, film and branded entertainment. It’s very exciting for us.”

“Mermade is very much an extension of Merman,” said Carstensen. “We make scripted and non-scripted premium short form episodic entertainment, brand-funded and beyond, for audiences who consume their content online and who are attracted to the truthful and irreverent shows they have come to expect from the Merman brand.”

Jon Creamer

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