Corus Entertainment has signed an overall deal with UK-based creative content company Dominion of Drama and hired its founder, Jeff Norton, to head its new IP and production venture, Waterside Studios.
The new studio is focused on producing scripted Canadian content for youth and primetime audiences in Canada and around the world, according to a press release.
As part of the deal with Dominion of Drama, Corus is optioning several titles including The Last Wish of Sasha and Cade, Elements at War, The Wanderer, A Switch in Time and Action Figures.
Originally from Canada, Norton previously worked at The Jim Henson Company in Los Angeles before moving to the UK to join Chorion Ltd. (Noddy, The Octonauts, Agatha Christie estate) as senior vice-president in 2007, and later founding Dominion of Drama in 2020.
Norton has previously worked as a consultant for Corus as executive producer of Trucktown for Nelvana, Corus’ children’s animated and live-action content producer and distributor. Author and creator of more than 25 novels (MetaWars franchise, Princess Ponies series), Norton co-wrote the novel Keeping the Beat, one of the launch titles for KCP Loft, Kids Can Press’ young adult imprint.
In addition to collaborating with independent producers, Waterside Studios will work with Nelvana to produce live-action programming for kids.
“Known for his work in bringing best-selling books to the screen, Norton will also focus on adapting books for kids and youth audiences,” the press release states.
“Jeff’s creativity, business acumen, and international focus will help propel our content ownership strategy as we pursue production and distribution opportunities for Corus’ best-in-class creative content,” said Colin Bohm, executive vice-president of content and corporate strategy at Corus Entertainment, in the release.
“Audiences are hungry for bold, original content and this is an incredible time to meet that demand with Waterside Studios,” added Norton. “I’m thrilled to join Corus, and collaborate with Nelvana, to contribute to the impressive roster of Corus titles that will delight viewers around the world.”