Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills Productions is stepping up its efforts in the branded content arena, expanding the company’s new branded content division by partnering with Los Angeles-based creative studio Test Pattern Media.
Hazy Mills about a year ago launched the division, which has produced an award-winning spot for Orbitz as well as campaigns for TNT and TBS, among others. Michael Grant Terry, who has worked with Test Pattern on multiple projects, has been tapped to head Hazy Mills’ branded content division.
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Operating together as a full-service branded content initiative, Hazy Mills and Test Pattern Media’s combined clients include Lucasfilm, Amazon, Showtime, Starbucks, Orbitz, Capital One, TNT, TBS, Lincoln, P&G and Google.
“In the new world of branded content, we believe we can engage savvy audiences in a way where they forget they’re being sold to,” said Hayes. “Our experience working in all genres of entertainment including drama, comedy, game, and documentary will translate very well into creating not only one-off commercials but also brand dedicated series – which will keep the audience engaged and interested in the brand over time.”
Added Milliner, “There’s a continuing trend for production and development companies to service brands directly – with the vast relationships we’ve garnished within the television field, Hazy Mills and Test Pattern can integrate our relationships to bring new and exciting types of content directly to brands and agencies alike, from start to finish.”
Formed in 2004 by Emmy winners Hayes and Milliner, Hazy Mills Productions’ breakout hit Hot in Cleveland, starring Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves, launched original programming for TV Land and ran for six seasons. Its spinoff, The Soul Man, starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash, ran for five seasons.
In network television, HMP produced six seasons of the hit supernatural drama Grimm for NBC/Universal Television as well as the NBC/Uni TV comedy series Crowded and Sean Saves the World. The company is currently working on Q-Force, an upcoming gay spy half-hour adult animated comedy series for Netflix.
On the non-scripted side, HMP has produced NBC’s Hollywood Game Night, which earned host Jane Lynch two Emmys, and Movie Night With Karlie Kloss on Freeform. The company branched out into documentary series with CNN’s The History of Comedy. In 2018, HMP produced their first feature, Lazy Susan, starring Allison Janney and Hayes. On Broadway, the company produced SpongeBob SquarePants, which garnered 12 Tony nominations.