Melanson, Cuperus launch indie prodco

With three projects currently in development, the duo's Headspinner Productions aims to produce everything from preschool projects to procedurals.
Melanson cuperus

Three months after Michelle Melanson stepped down as president of Boat Rocker’s Radical Sheep, she’s unveiled her latest venture, a new production company with The Stanley Dynamic co-creator and showrunner Ken Cuperus.

The husband-and-wife duo have launched Toronto-based Headspinner Productions, which currently has three projects in development.

Melanson was VP of production and development at Radical Sheep from 2009 until 2016, when Boat Rocker acquired the kids prodco, at which point she was tapped to head up the operation. She told Playback Daily that after an “amazing nine years” where she helped to rebuild and grow Radical Sheep, she was looking to return to a smaller, boutique production environment.

In addition to The Stanley Dynamic, Cuperus has writer and producer credits on such series as The Listener, Frankie Drake and Mr. Young. 

Together, Melanson and Cuperus are currently in development on two projects with an as-yet-unnamed Canadian broadcaster.

Cuperus describes the first, Cabin 51, as a fun, creepy property like “Lost in a summer camp.” It’s being developed as an hour-long summer event series.

“There’s room for limited series opportunities in the business right now and that’s something that both Ken and I have never had the opportunity to produce before,” said Melanson.

The second project in development is Made in China, a coming-of-age family dramedy about families who adopted their daughters from the same orphanage in China and the connections that they all have to one another. The series is based on Cuperus and Melanson’s own adoption experience.

The final project, in development with a U.S. broadcaster, is described as a teen single-camera sitcom.

While their current projects have a kids and family bent, the duo said they’re open to producing everything from preschool properties to procedurals.

“We’re not limiting ourselves to anything, because I do have experience all over the television landscape,” said Cuperus.