At Passionflix, Tosca Musk Streams Shows of ‘Toe Curling Yumminess’

First Look Media is the largest Passionflix investor, although the company’s chief executive, Michael Bloom, declined to disclose the size of his stake. (Ms. Musk owns the majority of Passionflix.) First Look, founded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, is made up of a number of unconnected organizations. Investigative journalism is a non-profit branch focusing on documentary filmmaking. An entertainment studio specializes in prestigious films such as “Spencer”, “Spotlight” and “The Mauritanian”. The relatively new section includes exclusive streaming services, including Topic.com, which focuses on crime and Passionflix.

Mr. Referring to all-Audience streaming services like HBO Max and Netflix, Bloom said. “But we are not trying to be that. Exclusive services like Passionflix have the opportunity to monitor a specific audience in a way that big, mainstream retailers don’t. “

Romantic escapism was a major part of television. It was dominated by short series in the 1980s (“The Throne Birds,” “Hollywood Wives”), and Movie of the Week in the 1990s (all of which were adapting the Morning Daniel Steel). But networks abandoned most of those formats in the 2000s. Cost was one reason; Networks also began favoring repetitive crime proceedings and reality shows, including romance-based “bachelor” franchises.

In the last decade, only adaptations of romance novels have made it to television. Even fewer hits (“Outlander” on Stars, “Bridgeton” on Netflix).

Passionflix was not conceived to cash in on the streaming boom, Ms. Kasturi said. Instead, she and two friends, Gina Panabianco and Johnny Kane, wanted to have a spicy television romance and couldn’t find buyers in Hollywood.

“So we had to create a distribution solution,” Ms. Kasturi said.

Ms. Musk, named after Pukkini’s opera, studied film at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. After graduating in 1997, he worked for the Canadian production company Alliance before moving to Los Angeles, where he directed, wrote, and produced the film “Puzzled” (2001) with Elon’s back. She eventually began producing and directing TV movies for Hallmark, Lifetime and ION Television.

But she was frustrated. “I’ve been arguing with network executives who weren’t interested in stories of empowered women acknowledging their sexuality.”

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