FremantleMedia is expanding its scripted business with this acquisition in the hot Nordic region. Miso Film‘s TV credits include the recently launched Dicte, and Those Who Kill, a drama being remade for A&E with Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy starring. It’s also working on 1864, an epic war drama series directed by Ole Bornedal that’s Denmark’s biggest production ever. On the feature side, Miso produced 2008′s Max Manus, the Norwegian drama that launched the careers of Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Here’s the full release:
Syndicated Pop Culture Game Show With Craig Ferguson Set For Fall 2014 Launch Via FremantleMedia, Debmar-Mercury & Coquette
FremantleMedia North America has teamed with Debmar-Mercury for Celebrity Name Game, a fast-paced game show slated for a fall 2014 nationally syndicated launch with The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson hosting. The half-hour strip, based on the board game Identity Crisis, was developed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Prods with Scott St. John (Deal Or No Deal), who will serve as showrunner. Ferguson’s involvement stems from the project’s first incarnation at CBS where Coquette sold it as a pilot two years ago under the title Identity Crisis with Ferguson hosting. In Celebrity Name Game, celebrities team with contestants to identify famous names including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. “Celebrity Name Game is a hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show that combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy,” said FMNA CEO Thom Beers, noting the company’s success with game shows hosted by comedians like Drew Carey (The Price Is Right), Steve Harvey (Family Feud) and Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal). This marks the second syndicated collaboration between FMNA and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, along with Family Feud, which is produced by FMNA and distributed by Deb-Mer.
FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment President Sander Schwartz is leaving the company later this month to pursue new business opportunities in television production, the company said today. Schwartz established the division in 2009 and is credited with helping build it into one of the world’s leading independent producers of kids’ and family programming. Its portfolio includes titles such as Tree Fu Tom, Kate & Mim-Mim, Strange Hill High, Wizards Vs Aliens, Grojband and Max Steel. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the outstanding team at FremantleMedia,” said Schwartz. “Though I have decided that it’s time for me to take on a new challenge, I leave with great confidence in the company’s rich opportunity as a leader in family entertainment.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Christopher Lee To Receive BFI Fellowship; FremantleMedia Int’l Inks Digital Deal With China’s Youku; More
Christopher Lee To Receive 2013 BFI Fellowship
Sir Christopher Lee will be this year’s recipient of the BFI Fellowship. The organization’s highest honor will be presented October 19during the awards ceremony for the BFI London Film Festival. The Fellowship is in recognition of outstanding contribution to film or television. Last year there was a double recipient in the form of Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Lee, who was knighted in 2009, has more than 250 acting credits — from his feature debut in 1948 with Corridor Of Mirrors to Hammer Films’ Dracula and The Lord Of The Rings‘ trilogy. The BFI will screen several of Lee’s most iconic performances during its upcoming Gothic season. The BFI today also announced juries for the London Film Festival. The nascent competitive section will be judged by film critic and journalist Phillip French, director Lone Scherfig, visual artist Stan Douglas, actress Miranda Richardson, author Deborah Moggach, and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.
FremantleMedia International Inks With China’s Youku
FremantleMedia International announced Monday a multiyear digital deal with the China-headquartered portal Youku. The agreement will see a variety of FremantleMedia’s premium entertainment and drama content available to online audiences averaging 14 million unique users a day. More than 200 hours of programming will be available on Youku in the first year including recent seasons of American Idol ,The X Factor USA, America’s Got Talent, Project Runway and The Celebrity Apprentice and season 13.
Mipcom Briefs: One Three Media In Deal For Cee-Lo Series; FremantleMedia Inks Digital Deal With Youku China; ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Goes Wide; More
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Mark Burnett’s One Three Media has closed a deal to distribute TBS’ upcoming CeeLo’s Goodie Life, the reality series that will feature musician, producer and The Voice co-host CeeLo Green. In a 10-year, multi-platform agreement, One Three Media will distribute the show globally across all platforms. It airs next year on TBS and follows Green as he tackles his packed schedule of producing, recording and performing, and also looks at the creative partnership with his longtime best friends — Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo — as they prepare to revive their iconic hip-hop group Goodie Mob. One Three Media will start offering the show at MipTV in April. CeeLo’s Goodie Life, which is a working title, is produced by Emerald TV Productions, LLC and Rogue Atlas. TBS has ordered six episodes for a 2014 premiere.
Former BBC Worldwide exec Christine Shaw has joined FremantleMedia North America as SVP Communications and Marketing, where she will lead all PR and marketing efforts for the company’s library of TV properties that includes American Idol, The X Factor, America’s Got Talent, The Price Is Right, Let’s Make A Deal and Family Feud among others. Shaw will report to COO Lee Rierson. At BBC Worldwide, Shaw oversaw corporate communications as well as publicity and marketing strategies for the company’s production arm, as well as its digital entertainment and games businesses.
Burbank, CA – FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) has named Gayle Gilman as the new Executive Vice President, Digital Content, effective immediately. Gilman will oversee the creation of all original digital content, including The Pet Collective, the fastest growing pet destination on the Internet. In addition to content creation, Gilman will also be responsible for supporting distribution strategies, positioning FMNA as a premier creator and provider of digital content. She will work closely with the company’s new Digital & Branded Entertainment Division, led by CEO Keith Hindle, to support FremantleMedia’s global digital strategies and activity. Gilman will report to Chief Operating Officer Lee Rierson and will look to immediately begin building her support team. Gilman joins FremantleMedia from Original Productions, where she served as the Senior Vice President for Original Productions Entertainment Network (OPEN). In this role, she established and operated the company’s digital media strategy, including the creation of branded and original content, as well as multiplatform distribution. Prior to launching the OPEN digital division for Original Productions, Gilman served as the co-executive producer for the Emmy-nominated “Ice Road Truckers”, as well as “Swords: Life on the Line,” “Lobstermen” and “America’s Lost Treasures”.
FremantleMedia just announced to staff this morning that CEO of FremantleMedia International, David Ellender, has decided to leave the company. Ellender joined the TV giant 12 years ago and has been global CEO of the group’s commercial arm for the past six. Of his departure to “pursue new challenges,” Fremantle CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz said, “David played a significant role in shaping and growing FremantleMedia into one of the world’s leading independent media companies. We would like to thank him for his vision, leadership and the huge contribution he has made to the company. We wish him continued success in all his future endeavours.” A new head of FremantleMedia International will be announced “in due course.”
Talpa International and Endemol International veteran Diana Buddingh will move into her new role as FremantleMedia‘s director of global entertainment production on October 1. She’ll be based in London and will be responsible for the brand management and global roll-out of all Fremantle’s non-scripted formats including the Idol, Got Talent and X Factor franchises. Buddingh will manage all commercial, talent and third party relationships and will work closely with director of global entertainment development, Rob Clark, on the pipeline and roll-out of key developments.
Burbank, CA – FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) Chief Executive Officer Thom Beers has named Lee Rierson as Chief Operating Officer, effective July 22. In his position as COO, reporting to Beers, Rierson will oversee Production, Business and Legal Affairs, Communications and Marketing, Business Development and Strategic Planning. FMNA’s current slate of shows includes “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Price is Right,” “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Family Feud,” among others.
EXCLUSIVE: FremantleMedia North America COO Donna Redier Linsk has opted not to renew her contract. Redier Linsk will exit the company in July and segue into a new role as a consultant at FMNA’s Fox series American Idol until December. Chief Operating Officer was a new position established by FMNA in 2009 when Redier Linsk was brought in by then-CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz from Fox Broadcasting, where she had been SVP Business Affairs and Alternative Production for five years. At FMNA, Redier Linsk oversaw production, finance, business and legal affairs for all of the company’s entertainment programming and was actively involved in day-to-day production of American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. FMNA is expected to name a replacement. “I want to thank Donna for the contribution she made to our business over the last four years,” said Frot-Coutaz, now CEO of parent company FremantleMedia. “She brought us her relentless rigor, business acumen, passion for production and incredible dedication. I will miss her dearly.” Added FMNA CEO Thom Beers, “Donna is an amazing talent.”
Burbank, CA – FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) has named Craig Cegielski to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming and Development. The announcement was made today by Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America to whom Cegielski reports. Stefanie Berk has also joined the company as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming and Development, reporting to Cegielski.
Mosey Upped To Editorial Director At BBC
The BBC has appointed Roger Mosey as editorial director. He’ll oversee the BBC’s editorial standards and handle major editorial issues as they arise in the new role that’s being created following a series of scandals that have hit the pubcaster in the past several months. Said BBC director general Tony Hall, “It is crucial that the BBC dedicates the right amount of time, skill and expertise to addressing the myriad of editorial challenges that we face across the BBC’s output.” Mosey was instrumental in the BBC’s coverage of the London Olympics last year and also will be charged with overseeing the planning of significant pan-BBC events.
Fremantle Sweden Taps Kalsson-Lamm As Managing Director
FremantleMedia has named Magnus Karlsson-Lamm as managing director of its Swedish production arm, FremantleMedia Sweden AB. He will start the job in September and be responsible for managing all development and production operations in Sweden. The exec previously was acting head of entertainment and deputy head of the program department at Swedish broadcaster TV4. He began his career as a host for Sweden’s SVT and also has been an executive producer on the Swedish versions of the Idol and Let’s Dance formats.
Alex Demyanenko has joined FremantleMedia North America in the newly created position of SVP, Non-Fiction Development and Programming. Under new CEO Thom Beers, FMNA is splitting development and programming for the broadcast and cable networks, with Damyanenko overseeing cable projects, and Julie Uribe, SVP, Non-Scripted Development, shepherding broadcast ones. Both report to Beers. Demyanenko comes from Shed Media US, where he was SVP, producing such series as Basketball Wives and Basketball Wives LA (VH1) and Tough Enough (USA). Prior to that, he was VP, Series Development and Programming at VH1, developing over 20 series in four years, including Celeb Rehab, Tough Love and The T.O. Show. Prior to VH1, Demyanenko was Head of Development at Rocket Science Laboratories, where he developed Fox’s Joe Millionaire, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé and Trading Spouses.
FremantleMedia is launching a new slate of scripted titles at Mip-TV which kicks off next week in Cannes, France. Among them are Wentworth, the reimagining of Prisoner Cell Block H, and The Making Of A Lady, from Runaway Fridge. Wentworth is a 10-part FremantleMedia Australia production that will premiere on Oz’s Foxtel in May. Event thriller Lady stars Linus Roache, Joanna Lumley and Lydia Wilson and is based on The Making Of A Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
LONDON, 5 March 2013: FremantleMedia, one of the largest creators, producers and distributors of television brands in the world, today announced the appointment of Keith Hindle as CEO of its newly created Digital & Branded Entertainment division. Based in New York, Hindle will craft and lead the digital and branded entertainment strategy for FremantleMedia around the world, reporting to FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz and sitting on the company’s Operating Board.
In his new role, Hindle, who was formerly CEO, Americas at FremantleMedia’s Enterprises arm, will steer and oversee FremantleMedia’s growing multi-platform business worldwide, with functional responsibility for all digital, sponsorship, social media and YouTube activity, including the company’s original content channels, along with apps, second-screen extensions and online gaming. Hindle will work closely with digital and sponsorship teams in FremantleMedia’s local territories, and will also sit on the Operating Boards of FremantleMedia’s gaming company Ludia and its transmedia company @radical.media.
EXCLUSIVE: Tony Optican is leaving FremantleMedia North America after a four-year stint as head of the company’s scripted programming division. I hear his contract was up and was not renewed. FMNA is already looking for a replacement for Optican as well as for VP scripted development Holly Hines who just left to head scripted development and production for Participant Media’s new cable network. Under Optican, FMNA landed one series on the air, TBS’ dramedy Wedding Band, which was recently cancelled after one season. FMNA gets a co-producer credit on the CW/Warner Bros. TV pilot The Tomorrow People as the original format is part of its catalog. Mining that catalog for scripted US series will likely be among the priorities for Optican’s successor. Before joining FMNA, Optican was SVP of original programming at Sci Fi Channel and VP of current programming at Fox.
American Idol and X Factor producer FremantleMedia has named former HIT Entertainment COO Sangeeta Desai to the combined roles of COO and CFO with immediate effect. The exec will be based in London and report to Fremantle CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. Desai has also been named to the board of directors. Before joining HIT, she was a principal at private equity firm Apax Partners and also did stints at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Fremantle lately has been making a push in the scripted arena. It recently teamed with veteran feature and TV writer/producer Marshall Herskovitz for a drama series project inspired by the book Hitlerland. It’s also producing E!’s upcoming scripted art gallery series Gallerina and is developing Joan of Arc novel The Maid into a drama series with Craig Pearce.
December 17, 2012 – FremantleMedia has finalized a deal with writer Craig Pearce to develop the New York Times bestseller The Maid into a television drama series for international audiences. The as yet untitled series will be executive produced by Pukeko Pictures, the television company co-founded by Richard Taylor, head of Weta Workshop; and written by Craig Pearce, whose credits include co-writing with Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet, the Oscar-winning Moulin Rouge, and the upcoming The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. This is the first project to come out of the Pukeko Pictures / FremantleMedia partnership announced earlier this year.
The Maid is the bestselling novel by Kimberley Cutter and tells the tale of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who believes she is sent by God to save France. This story of Joan, the girl, is a new and gripping take on how a farmer’s daughter sought escape from her own personal oppression to lead thousands of French fighters against a brutal and prolonged English invasion. The series will breathe life into the action-packed final years of the Hundred Years War by chronicling them from not only Joan’s perspective but also those of the international noble houses that battled for control of the French throne and ultimately, the birth of a nation.