Founders To Relaunch Icebox, Cut Syndi Deal With Mondo Media
A group of five former founders and senior executives of Icebox.com have purchased key assets from the defunct company, and plan to relaunch as a syndicator and developer of properties for the Web and television. The April 10, 2001 announcement also details a new syndication deal Icebox has inked with Mondo Media, creators of the Mondo Mini Show distribution network, which ensures distribution for many Icebox properties, including ZOMBIE COLLEGE and POKER NIGHT. "We are pleased to bring ZOMBIE COLLEGE and other proven Icebox successes to our syndication partners," said John Evershed, Mondo Media CEO and co-founder. "We've always been a big fan of Icebox's programming and look forward to distributing these breakout shows and also adding to the depth of our content library." Icebox is being resurrected by a group that includes Icebox co-founders John Collier, former co-executive producer of "KING OF THE HILL," Howard Gordon, former executive producer of "THE X-FILES," and Rob LaZebnik, former co-executive producer of "THE SIMPSONS," as well as Scott Rupp, former Icebox head of business development and Tal Vigderson, former Icebox head of business and creative affairs. Vigderson stated, "We intend to focus on the development and exploitation of our content. Our revenue will come from production and development deals as well as the online and offline syndication of Webisodes, which is a great way to efficiently break new entertainment franchises. Without the infrastructure of a Website, we will function with an extremely low overhead which will enable us to survive in a developing market." In addition to exploiting Icebox shows such as MR. WONG, ZOMBIE COLLEGE, and STARSHIP REGULARS, the new company, also called Icebox, has formulated a business plan that will capitalize on the unique development model conceived by the original founders. According to Gordon, "We started Icebox as a platform for writers to produce projects with complete creative freedom, outside the studio system. What came out of this environment was a bunch of great original shows that people wanted to watch -- and that many television and film studios wanted to put into development. We still believe in this model of creative freedom and look forward to working with many of the writers, who've been with us from the beginning. " Icebox.com launched with great fanfare in early 2000. By November, the company had laid off half its staff, finally closing its doors in early February, 2001. According to an article published on Hollywoodreporter.com, for a reported $500,000 purchase price, the minimum bid at an April 3, 2001 creditor's auction, the group reportedly purchased physical equipment, the icebox.com domain name and rights to 21 shows, not including QUEER DUCK, which had previously been sold to Showtime. The article went on to state that through self-funding and a small amount of outside investment, the new owners claim they can operate for the next year.