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Propagate Launches International Division Headed by Cyrus Farrokh

Variety logo Variety 1/17/2017 Oriana Schwindt
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Global indie studio Propagate is launching its international distribution business to be helmed by global sales executive Cyrus Farrokh.

As president of the international division, Farrokh will continue to cultivate international relationships in his role. The international division will also manage content acquisitions and distribution, as well as format development and sales.

Farrokh joins Propagate from Electus International, where he was most recently senior vice president and head of sales.  At Electus, he was responsible for the company’s first production/format deals in China, including a local series of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” premiering later this month on Dragon TV. Farrokh also brought the format “Bet on Your Baby” to China, where the local version aired for two seasons on state broadcaster CCTV1.

Propagate launched in 2015 as an A&E-backed venture headed by Howard T. Owens and David McKillop, bringing on Ben Silverman as co-CEO in 2016. It now has 12 series in production and has sold 10 scripts for development, and licensed two international formats to U.S. broadcasters.

Those projects include “Exhibit A,” a drama for CBS executive produced by Daniel Dae Kim and with Alexi Hawley attached as showrunner, based on the hit South Korean series “My Lawyer, Mr. Jo”; and Turkish format “My Partner Knows Best,” a relationship comedy game show from Kanal D at lifetime. The U.S. version of “My Partner Knows Best” will be hosted by Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen, who also executive produce. Propagate is also the studio behind upcoming Apple series “Planet of the Apps.”

Supporting Farrokh on the international team are Propagate execs Jay Weisleder, who will be focusing on Latin America and Spanish-speaking territories, and Jimmy McNider, who will focus on European territories. Linh Le continues to focus on global business development.

“I am ecstatic to be working with Ben and Howard again, and with the fantastic team at Propagate,” said Farrokh.

“Cyrus has an incredible track record of fostering long-term partnerships and opening doors into new markets, particularly in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and we are excited to redefine the global content business together,” Silverman and Owens said in a statement.

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