A few years ago, comic book publisher IDW Publishing had licensed one of its properties to 21st Century Fox to be developed for television, but the studio decided to drop the project.
The top brass at IDW was frustrated. Believing the project had potential and should have moved forward, IDW decided to shake things up. The company would no longer simply license comics to studios and take a passive role — it would partner with production houses to develop its own properties, and kick in part of the early financing.
That meant two things. IDW would have control of the creative process, from scripting pilots to setting series formats. It would also retain worldwide rights to its series, where much of the profit is to be made.
Today, the bet appears to be paying off. The company's first show — the gun-slinging horror series "Wynonna Earp" — wrapped its first season this summer and has been approved for a second on SyFy. Next week, BBC America will debut "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" a series created by science fiction legend Douglas Adams and published in comics format by IDW.