Endemol Studios, Endemol North America’s scripted studio operation based in Los Angeles, has signed its first pod deal, bringing in Christina Wayne and her Assembly Entertainment shingle to develop and produce scripted projects for cable and other TV distribution platforms. “Christina’s taste in material, her relationships with top talent and her experience as a writer, director, producer and as a network and studio executive will be incredibly valuable as we expand our development slate,” said Endemol Studios CEO Philippe Maigret. Former AMC senior development executive Wayne most recently served as president of Cineflix Studios, Cineflix’s scripted television arm, since its 2010 launch, but the division was recently dissolved after the cancellation of its BBC America drama Copper as the unscripted producer decided to retreat from scripted series.
Under Wayne’s deal with Endemol Studios, she will develop existing and new projects, including MDX, an international medical disaster drama produced with Tony Krantz‘s Flame Ventures. ER alum Carol Flint will write the script and serve as executive alongside Jonathan Klein, Krantz and Wayne. “MDX is a dramatic series nod to the classic disaster films of the ’70s and ’80s, but done real,” Krantz said. Read More »
Will Keenan has been named President, Endemol Beyond USA, effective immediately, Endemol North America announced today. In his role, Keenan will oversee the launch of the newly created digital venture in the U.S. He reports to Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, co-CEOs and Chairmen, Endemol North America. Keenan’s appointment follows the announcement last week of the launch of Endemol Beyond, a new global venture that will create a premium network of international and local channels across such platforms as YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Dailymotion. Endemol is spending an initial $40.3 million on the venture. Keenan moves to Endemol from Maker Studios where he served as VP of Vertical Development and Network Programming.
Endemol Beyond is a new global venture that will create a premium network of international and local channels across such platforms as YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Dailymotion. Big Brother producer Endemol is spending an initial 30M euros ($40.3M) on the venture which will invest in high-end original productions for the channels and will also acquire third-party programming. Genres will include comedy, entertainment, fashion and film. Endemol says Endemol Beyond will mirror its core content business, leveraging the company’s global creativity, brands and IP and producing premium entertainment that is exploited across all platforms. Its digital video business already has over 100 YouTube channels in worldwide markets including Germany where the Endemol Beyond brand was launched in 2012. Georg Ramme, who runs the German operation, will become managing director of Endemol Beyond International.
Endemol-owned UK production company Initial‘s credits include hit reality shows Big Brother UK and Your Face Sounds Familiar. After promoting Nick Samwell-Smith to managing director in September, the outfit has now hired Mirella Breda as creative director. Breda will join Initial in February after a long stint at the BBC where she has been executive editor of BBC Entertainment commissioning since 2007. Her tenure has included developing and exec producing Masterchef, Dragons Den, Comic Relief and Initial’s Total Wipeout. At Initial, she will look to expand entertainment output with new formats for the UK and international markets.
Endemol USA is taking a page from FremantleMedia North America’s playbook. After FMNA turned to subsidiary Original Prods. to find a successor to topper Cécile Frot-Coutaz in Thom Beers, Endemol is doing the same, naming 51 Minds CEO Cris Abrego and Original Media CEO Charlie Corwin as Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Endemol North America, replacing departing CEO David Goldberg. The two will oversee Endemol’s North American operations, which include their respective companies as well as fellow subsidiaries Authentic Entertainment, Endemol Studios and True Entertainment. Endemol acquired Abrego and Mark Cronin’s 51 Minds in 2008, while Corwin’s Original Media was added in 2007. While Endemol has recently made inroads in daytime and scripted programming with Steve Harvey, AMC’s Hell On Wheels and Low Winter Sun, the company is yet to find new tentople reality shows to join veterans Big Brothers and Wipeout.
EXCLUSIVE: Endemol Studios has closed a deal to develop and produce an English-language adaptation of the hit French crime thriller series Engrenages. The original series follows a murder investigation and reveals the cooperation, conflict, transgression and corruption within the French legal system from the perspective of the lead characters: a police captain and her two lieutenants, a judge, a prosecutor, and a defense lawyer. (trailer with English subtitles below) “Engrenages offers a hyper-realistic take on the French judicial system”, said Endemol Studios CEO Philippe Maigret. “The show’s masterfully complex storylines and layered characters give us the right blueprint to further explore society’s ever-changing codes of justice and develop a distinctive, un-apologetic, gripping television drama set against the backdrop of today’s U.S. legal system.” Engrenages premiered on French pay-TV net Canal+ in December 2005. The fifth season is set to air in 2014, with work on Season 6 already underway. The show, a Son et Lumière production in association with Canal+ for U.S. television that is produced by Vassili Clert and Daniel Dubois, has sold in more than 60 territories including in the UK where the series airs on BBC4 under the title Spiral. In North America, Engrenages‘ first three seasons are available on Netflix. Endemol Studios is Endemol North America’s LA-based scripted studio operation that has produced AMC’s Hell On Wheels and Low Winter Sun and ABC’s Red … Read More »
David Goldberg will step down as chairman and CEO of Endemol North America in December, the company announced today. Goldberg had been with Endemol since launching the the U.S. outpost of the Dutch production company, originally founded by Joop van den Ende and John de Mol, in 2000. He will continue to work with Endemol as a consultant for its successful syndicated daytime show Steve Harvey, which he championed. Goldberg also started a scripted division of Endemol USA, which co-produces AMC’s Hell On Wheels and Low Winter Sun. The company’s unscripted slate include CBS’ Big Brother and ABC’s Wipeout. “It is time for me to try something new and I am excited about the possibilities,” Goldberg said. There are no decisions on his replacement. Endemol USA’s upcoming reality shows include Fox’s Step Up, NBC’s Wall Of Fame hosted by Anthony Anderson and ABC’s Sing Your Face Off.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that DirecTV is close to picking up its third original series. I hear the satcaster is finalizing the deals for a 10-episode straight-to-series order to Navy St., an hourlong drama from Byron Balasco (Detroit 1-8-7) and Endemol Studios, the Los Angeles-based scripted TV producing operation of Endemol USA. Written on spec by Balasco, Navy St. is described as a gritty family drama set against the backdrop of a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym based in Venice, California. It deals with survival, ambition, self-destruction and love in all of its messy iterations. Balasco is attached to serve as showrunner on the series, which I heard has begun preliminary casting, with production start eyed for early next year. Navy St. is said to be in the vein of acclaimed family/football drama Friday Night Lights, which ended its run on DirecTV. This would mark the third original series to launch on DirecTV, following Rogue, which was recently renewed for a second season, and the upcoming Full Circle. At Endemol Studios, Navy St. would join two other gritty drama series, AMC’s Hell On Wheels, which returned for a third season on Saturday, and Low Winter Sun, which premiered last night. Balasco’s first stab at creating a series, drama Westside which also was set in Venice, CA, attracted McG as director and executive producer last season when … Read More »
NBC said today that it has ordered eight episodes of Endemol USA‘s original hourlong game show Wall Of Fame. Endemol USA (Big Brother, Wipeout, Steve Harvey) will produce the new series. On Wall Of Fame, families of four win cash by correctly answering general-knowledge questions and then identifying which celebrity on a “wall of fame” also got the right answer. Endemol USA also produced the hit game show Deal Or No Deal, which aired on NBC for four seasons from 2005-08.
Remarkable Television’s David Flynn has been appointed chief creative officer at the company’s parent, Endemol UK. Flynn was previously joint managing director at Remarkable, producer of The Million Pound Drop (aka The Money Drop). Replacing him at Remarkable is Nick Mather, previously controller of entertainment and formats. Flynn created and exec produces The Million Pound Drop Live which first launched in 2010 and airs on the UK’s Channel 4. He also co-created game show Pointless and executive produces for BBC One. His other credits include The Bank Job, Seven Days On The Breadline and The Common Denominator. Mather has been with Endemol since 2005. His credits include The Kids Are All Right, The Whole 19 Yards and ABC’s 101 Ways To Leave A Game Show.
Legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan is to star in his first ever TV drama series. The untitled Endemol India co-production is being made for Sony Entertainment Television India. Hot writer-director Anurag Kashyap, whose Gangs Of Wasseypur and Ugly ran consecutively in the last two Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sections, is developing the project. Endemol India conceived the series that’s described as an epic drama, although details are being kept close to the vest. Bachchan’s company Saraswati Creations is co-producing. Bachchan, who has acted in more than 180 films, recently made his Hollywood debut in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. He’s previously hosted the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the local version of Endemol format Big Brother, known in India as Big Boss. Kashyap was involved in four movies that played Cannes last month. Along with directing Ugly, he helmed a segment of Bombay Talkies, co-produced Monsoon Shootout and produced Critics’ Week title The Lunchbox which Sony Pictures Classics acquired. Endemol India was founded in 2006 and is a partnership between Endemol and The Chernin Group’s Asian investment arm, CA Media.
Coogan, Brydon & Winterbottom To Take Another ‘Trip’
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are reteaming with Michael Winterbottom for a second series of The Trip. The BBC Two comedy, released theatrically in the U.S. by IFC, set Coogan and Brydon off on a road trip to tour the UK Lake District’s best restaurants. Memorable for the duo’s attempts to best one another at celebrity impressions, the first season was highly improvised. The second season will be set in Italy on a road trip that retraces the footsteps of the Romantics, Coogan told Empire Magazine.
UK Touts Tax Incentive For High-End TV Productions
The British film industry celebrated the UK’s new Creative Sector Tax Reliefs this morning in London. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey were on hand to outline the importance of the new incentives which will see qualifying high-end TV and animation productions receive up to 25% in tax relief. The scheme came into effect on April 1. Vaizey said “The UK’s creative industries are a real success story, worth more than £36 billion a year. We know that the television and animation sectors make a real difference to the UK economy and these new tax reliefs will be instrumental in expanding our potential.” Iain Smith, producer and chair of the British Film Commission, encouraged the industry to “continue to fight rigorously to maintain our position as a leading center of production.” There was also a case study of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, which is shooting its fourth season in Northern Ireland. HBO SVP Jay Roewe noted the new measures “will make filming in the UK an even more viable proposition.” The BFC recently hosted events in Los Angeles and New York to educate studios, broadcasters, producers and agents on the incentives. Read More »
Rebecca Eaton To Pull The Curtain Back On Masterpiece
Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton will publish a memoir this fall. Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind The Scenes Of Masterpiece Theatre And Mystery! PBS releases October 29 via Viking in the U.S. Eaton has presided over PBS’ Masterpiece, which airs such British and international hits as Downton Abbey and Sherlock, for 25 years. Eaton says, “As an Anglophile who loves books and great acting, I’ve had the perfect job.” For the book, she interviews actors, writers, directors and producers and is expected to share stories about Downton’s Maggie Smith, Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Radcliffe whose first TV role was as the title character in David Copperfield. Under Eaton’s leadership, Masterpiece has earned 44 Emmy Awards, 15 Peabody Awards, four Golden Globes, and two Oscar nominations. She’s writing the book with Patricia Mulcahy. Read More »
PGS To Offer ‘Stan Lee’s Mighty 7′ At Mip Market
Andy Heyward’s A Squared Entertainment is partnering with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Archie Comics to produce Stan Lee’s Mighty 7. The TV movie trilogy is billed as the first-ever reality superhero show and sees Lee insert himself into the story as a writer hired by Archie Comics to create a new group of superheroes. But when a group of seven aliens crash lands near his trailer, Stan decides to teach them how to behave as superheroes to thwart the military that’s in hot pursuit. The Mighty 7 comic book began appearing last year as a bi-monthly series. PGS Entertainment is kicking off sales at Mip-TV next month with the first movie to deliver in Q4. Read More »
Documentary Makers To Pitch BFI For Funding
The BFI Film Fund will dish out funding to documentaries via twice-yearly public pitch sessions, in London and at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Documentarians will pitch ideas to a panel of senior execs “from within the BFI Film Fund and wider documentary funding community”, with selected candidates benefitting from a day of expert-led development to help them focus pitches and strengthen ideas. Documentary filmmaking in Britain is on a high after a string of high-profile successes like Man On Wire and Senna, as well as this year’s Oscar- and BAFTA-winning Brit-produced Searching For Sugarman and the BAFTA-winning The Imposter. “Documentary is the punk of the film industry,” said the BFI’s Lizzie Francke. “We’re absolutely committed to supporting the UK’s visionary documentary filmmakers and we’re pleased to be working with Sheffield Doc/Fest on this new way to deliver support directly to the sector.” – Joe Utichi Read More »
Endemol North America has promoted four executives: Caroline Baumgard to EVP Development, Rob Smith to EVP Programming; Rob Day to EVP Production, and Ron Milkes to EVP Operations, Strategy and Corporate Development. The four will continue to be based in Los Angeles and report to David Goldberg, Chairman and CEO, Endemol North America. Read More »
UK House of Lords OKs Assistance For Victims Of Media Misbehavior
As David Cameron’s government in the UK continues to dither over what to do about the proposals made in the Leveson Report on the phone-hacking scandal, peers in the House of Lords — the UK parliament’s upper house — have passed an amendment to the Defamation bill establishing a cheap arbitration service between newspapers and those claiming to be wronged by the press. The proposal was a key feature of Leveson’s report. The cross-party amendment was spearheaded by peers including film producer Lord David Puttnam, who said lawmakers had an “obligation to act, and to be seen to act, on behalf of victims past, present and future”. The Defamation Bill, which has a key focus on complaints against alleged defamation published on the Internet, reflected none of the concerns brought to light by the Leveson Report, he said. “It is almost as if Leveson never happened.” The move marks a major rebellion against the government, with peers voting 272 to 141 in favour of legislation which would also introduce a statutory system for press regulation, a line Cameron had promised not to cross. The bill will go back before the House of Commons next month, forcing the Leveson debate back into the open.
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Endemol Taps Former FremantleMedia Exec To Oversee Asian Operation
In the latest in a string of executive appointments, Big Brother producer Endemol has named Fotini Paraskakis managing director of its Asian operations to oversee creative, production and format sales activities across the region. The exec joins from FremantleMedia Asia where she was director of content for all of the company’s formats in the region including Idols, Got Talent and X Factor. As Endemol looks to expand in Asia, its recent projects there include a first series of Fear Factor and a second season of The Money Drop for Astro in Malaysia; a third season of Your Face Sounds Familiar on Hunan Satellite TV in China and the return of Deal Or No Deal and the launch of The Money Drop in the Philippines. Read More »
There’s been a shake-up in the executive ranks and management structure of Big Brother producer Endemol in the past few weeks. Former Group COO and Endemol France CEO Virginie Calmels recently announced her departure with Martha Brass later named as her replacement at the Group level. Last week, Olivier Gers stepped down as CEO of the commercial division, Endemol Worldwide Brands. The company today says it has established a new Group Commercial Board, made up of a selection of senior execs from across the group, to replace the Endemol Worldwide Brands division and more closely integrate commercial and creative activities. Here’s the release:
Endemol, the world’s largest independent TV and digital media production company today announced a reorganisation of its commercial and global brands business.
A newly created Group Commercial Board comprising senior Endemol executives from around the world has been established in place of Endemol Worldwide Brands (EWB).
Former EWB Regional Director, International, Branco Scherer has been promoted to the new Board as Executive Director, Commercial Affairs. His role will be to liaise and coordinate with Endemol’s commercial teams around the world and to ensure that ideas and information are shared across the Group.
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