Lionsgate TV Signs First Look Deal With ‘High on the Hog’ Producers Karis Jagger and Fabienne Toback (EXCLUSIVE)

Karis Jagger and Fabienne Toback have entered a first look deal with Lionsgate Television.

Under the deal, they will develop and produce unscripted and documentary programming under their production banner Hey Sistah Productions. Lionsgate’s Pilgrim Media Group, which focuses on unscripted programming, will provide development support and serve as production services entity for sold projects.    

Jagger and Toback are best known for producing “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” a Netflix documentary series based on Dr. Jessica Harris’ book of the same name. The series follows food writer Stephen Satterfield on a culinary journey alongside chefs, historians and activists that celebrates the courage, artistry and resourcefulness of the African American people.

The producers are longtime friends who began collaborating in 2011, producing and directing a series of shorts for the New York Times before optioning “High on the Hog” and partnering with Pilgrim Media Group and Roger Ross Williams/One Story Up. The series, which was recently awarded with Peabody, NAACP and AAFCA awards, is now in production on its second season.

Jagger and Toback previously formed the food, friendship and culture blog Hey Sistah and then transitioned the brand into a production banner, where they are currently developing projects that explore food science and female narratives.

“As early champions of ‘High on the Hog,’ we couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with the Lionsgate Pilgrim family. We can’t wait for this new chapter and look forward to expanding our reach with stories that matter,” said Jagger and Toback.

“Karis and Fabienne have a unique ability to identify IP that uses the exploration of the past as a tool to highlight timely cultural themes,” said president of Lionsgate Nonfiction Television and Pilgrim CEO and chair Craig Piligian. “We look forward to helping them create a broad range of content.”

Pilgrim in-house attorney Jennifer Soria negotiated the deal for Lionsgate and Pilgrim. Jagger is represented by Fox Rothschild and Toback by UTA and Fox Rothschild.