Melissa Williamson will move from Pier 21 Films to Saloon Media as a new hire. Her focus at Saloon Media will be scripted comedies and dramas, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Based in Toronto, the company was formed in 2013 by Michael Kot. As the current managing director, Kot will oversee Williamson’s transition to the Blue Ant Studios division of Saloon Media, which handles all scripted series.
Prior to her Saloon Media hire, Williamson served as the president of Pier 21 Films. She helped executive produce all 34 episodes of the news satire series Beaverton for CTV Media. Beaverton was created by Jeff Detsky (Inspector Gadget), Luke Gordon Field (The Beaverton Digital), Alexander Saxton (#Interns) and Jacob Duarte Spiel (Quota) in 2016. The series is comprised of news stories and editorial pieces that mirror conventional news but instead provide commentary on Canadian and world issues, similar to SNL’s Weekend Update. With Emma Hunter (Fridge Wars) and Miguel Rivas (Japan) as the news hosts, other characters include correspondents like Laura Cilevitz (Molly’s Game), Marilla Wex (5 Films About Technology), Aisha Alfa (Opie’s Home) and Dave Barclay (Dead of Winter). Clips of the show can be viewed on The Beaverton YouTube channel.
Williamson also has experience working in the U.S. at indie producer Blueprint Entertainment prior to its merger into Entertainment One’s TV division in 2008, via Hollywood Reporter.
Blending her experience as a factual producer with work on scripted series will make Williamson an asset to Saloon Media. In a statement, Kot said, “We’re committed to developing a diverse scripted slate amid the COVID-19 pandemic and Melissa’s sharp creative insight and wealth of industry relationships, in both Canada and L.A., are invaluable in setting up an impressive pipeline of compelling projects,” via Hollywood Reporter.
Williamson also mentioned the importance of partnering on projects between the U.S., the U.K. and Canada as she predicted U.S. broadcasters and streamers would a express a need to “replenish their shelves with new titles, possibly with Canadian-originated projects acquired later this year,” via Hollywood Reporter.