Lilly Singh pacts with Blink49 Studios and Bell Media

The scripted and unscripted content deal will focus on developing TV content that showcases underrepresented communities.

Scarborough, Ont.-born comedian Lilly Singh has inked a scripted and unscripted development deal with Blink49 Studios and Bell Media.

The agreement gives the companies first-look rights to scripted content under Singh’s banner Unicorn Island Productions, as well as second-look rights to unscripted content. Blink49 Studios will handle production and international distribution, while Bell Media will be the Canadian broadcaster for scripted and unscripted titles in development.

The deal, which was spearheaded by Singh and Unicorn Island Productions’ head of development Polly Auritt with Blink49 Studios’ EVP, global scripted Carolyn Newman, and executive producer Virginia Rankin, will focus on creating and producing TV content that showcases underrepresented communities. Singh, Auritt, Newman and Rankin will serve as executive producers on any projects created and developed under the deal.

Singh set a first-look unscripted rights deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio in 2021.

Unicorn Island Productions has produced late-night NBC talk show A Little Late with Lilly Singh, as well as the Peacock original comedy special Sketchy Times with Lilly Singh. Currently, the prodco is developing numerous projects including the upcoming YouTube Originals series, The Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island, which is expected to debut in 2023.

Singh, who became famous for her viral videos on YouTube under her pseudonym Superwoman, recently judged on Citytv’s Canada’s Got Talent and starred in Dreamworks’ The Bad Guys. She will also headline in the new Disney+ comedy series The Muppets Mayhem.

Blink49 Studios CEO John Morayniss said Bell Media is “taking a leadership role in supporting Canadian talent” in a statement on the deal, adding that the “innovative studio partnership with Blink49 will ensure the content coming from Unicorn Island Productions will reach audiences in Canada and around the world.”

Justin Stockman, VP, content development and programming at Bell Media adds: “Lilly is a singular creative talent, and along with Polly and the team at Unicorn Island Productions, has a distinct perspective that is so compelling for viewers.”

Earlier this year, the studio signed a first-look deal with Moonshine and Call Me Fitz creator Sheri Elwood. It has also optioned the rights to the novel Things to Do When It’s Raining, written by Toronto author Marissa Stapley, and Canadian author Charlene Carr’s novel Hold My Girl.

Image courtesy of Unicorn Island Productions