RuPaul Charles, the Emmy-winning host and executive producer of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has signed a first-look scripted deal with Sony Pictures Television. Under the pact, Charles is ramping up his RuCo production banner, with former State Street Productions executive Jay Marcus joining the company as Head of Film and Television.
At Sony TV, RuCo will focus on telling queer, character-driven stories, centered around RuPaul’s signature brand of positivity, empowerment, humor, and music. The company will develop drama, comedy, and animated projects across all platforms.
“Not only I am thrilled and honored to join the Sony Pictures Television family, but I’m also extremely grateful for the opportunity to tell unique stories that push the conversation forward,” Charles said.
Charles started expanding into scripted television several years ago, teaming up with Michael Patrick King to produce the Netflix original comedy series, AJ & The Queen, in which RuPaul also starred, and with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and RuPaul’s Drag Race producer World of Wonder on a half-hour dramedy based on his life, which was set at Hulu.
“As a kid in high school, I was mocked for dancing to RuPaul’s hit song Supermodel,” said Jason Clodfelter, SPT Co-President. “I never imagined then how many walls Ru would break down for the LGBTQIA+ and straight allied communities alike. Ru’s love for all people correlates to the cultural specificity we crave in our storytelling at Sony Pictures Television. We are honored to be a part of Ru’s continued history making journey.”
Since 2009, Charles has executive produced and hosted the reality competition TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he has received eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, setting records for most Emmy wins in the Outstanding Host of Reality/Competition Program category and most Emmys won by a Black performer. The hugely successful series has spawned a UK version as well as spinoff RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.
As a recording artist, RuPaul has co-written and co-produced eighteen studio albums to date, including the upcoming “MAMARU” (2022). As an actor, he has appeared in over 50 films and television shows. Also an author, Charles has published three books, most recently GuRu (2018).
Marcus moves to RuCo from George Tillman, Jr. and Bob Teitel’s State Street Pictures, where he served as Head of Film and Television for the past six years. During his tenure, Marcus brought in and co-produced the praised 2018 film The Hate U Give, and most recently executive produced the Disney+ pilot The Crossover, based on Kwame Alexander’s bestselling middle grade novel. He is also an executive producer on the company’s upcoming feature adaptation of Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up at Paramount. Prior to State Street, Marcus was a Manager of Scripted Development at MTV, working on the shows Faking It, Finding Carter, and Scream. He began his career at Endeavor and then Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps.
RuPaul and RuCo are repped by CAA and attorney Jessica Boardman.
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