Fox has commissioned a pilot for Challenge Me, a game show from Talpa Media USA, the US-based production company of Dutch media entrepreneur John de Mol, creator/co-creator of such unscripted hits as The Voice, Big Brother, Fear Factor and Deal Or No Deal. Challenge Me is one of several projects in the works at Talpa, which is looking to expand on the success of its first series, NBC’s The Voice. Challenge Me, which just filmed a pilot, is a studio-based game show in which contestants who have unusual individual skills are pushed to the limit for a cash prize. Additionally, Talpa has a dating show in development at Fox. Its upcoming series include NBC’s singing-game show The Winner Is, hosted by Nick Lachey, and La Voz Kids, a Spanish language youth version of The Voice for Telemundo hosted by Daisy Fuentes.
As part of the expansion, Talpa Media USA CEO Simon Jones has made several executive appointments. Ira Chartoff has been named CFO and will oversee all finance operations at the company. He spent the last decade at Endemol USA, the US branch of De Mol’s previous company Endemol. Sadoux Kim joins Talpa as SVP of Business Development and Digital. He previously worked as SVP of Marketing and Branded Media for Mark Burnett’s One Three Media and served as Co-Executive producer on NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice. Monica Stock will serve as VP of Production. She … Read More »
Zodiak Americas has set up an US outpost for Zodiak Media’s Creativity & Innovation Unit. Stefanie Gélinas has been named SVP C&I Unit, Zodiak Americas. Based at Zodiak’s Santa Monica office, Gélinas will report to US-based Jonny Slow, CEO, Zodiak Americas, and London-based Cathy Rogers, Director, C&I Unit.
The C&I Unit connects Zodiak Media’s producers from the company’s 45 production companies in 20 countries. It is designed to identify projects with global potential and get resources, including money, behind developing them before introducing them to individual territories. Gélinas, who will be working in tandem with Zodiak USA CEO Natalka Znak and her development team, will oversee an LA-based creative Think Tank. Gélinas is planning to recruit a VP of Development to join her team in 2013. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Dutch media entrepreneur John de Mol‘s company Talpa already has established a presence in the US with NBC’s reality hit The Voice, co-created and executive produced by de Mol. Now de Mol is taking that presence to the next level, turning Talpa Media USA into a full-fledged independent production company and hiring Simon Jones to run it. Jones joins Talpa Media USA as CEO after a six-year stint at Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment. For the last two years, Jones served as COO of Syco Television USA, overseeing all of Syco’s TV operations in the US and helping establish the company’s US operations. Jones, a 20-year TV veteran, started off in his native Britain before crossing the pond. He served as Controller of Business Affairs at ITV, Executive Producer of American Idol for FremantleMedia and SVP Operations for the The X Factor and Got Talent franchises at Syco. He also ran the successful X Factor UK arena tour and a live stage version of America’s Got Talent in Las Vegas. “At a moment like this, people are used to say that they have found the right man for the job. So sorry for the cliche, but Simon is exactly that!,” said Talpa Holding CEO Pim Schmitz. “Simon’s appointment with Talpa Media USA fits in Talpa’s strategy to have our own production companies in the key markets of the world. Other territories will follow, but of course the US is number one when it comes to that strategy.”
In addition to The Voice, Talpa Media USA’s credits include NBC’s upcoming singing game show The Winner Is… and the 2009 ABC series Dating In The Dark, all three based on worldwide Talpa formats. All three have been done as co-productions, with another company handling the actual production. While Talpa Media USA will continue to partner up with other companies when needed, it is looking to transition to producing more and more of its own shows and to grow its portfolio of broadcast and cable reality series. Talpa’s US plans are reminiscent of the way de Mol built a strong U.S. production arm of his previous global media company, Endemol. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work at such a dynamic and ambitious company headed by the – almost legendary – John de Mol,” Jones said. Read More »
John de Mol’s Talpa Media and News Corp.‘s recently formed content development and investment vehicle Puji Star Media are digging deeper into China. The companies have launched a joint venture dubbed Talpa China Star to produce and distribute local versions of formats culled from Talpa’s catalog. Talpa’s flagship show, The Voice, was produced locally as The Voice Of China earlier this year by News Corp-backed Star China Media. (In July, Star China hooked up with investment and asset management firm Puji Capital to form Puji Star Media.) Season 1 reached 500M viewers and Season 2 is moving forward. Other Talpa formats to successfully cross over to China include I Love My Country and Sing It.
In one of two recent format disputes, the Banijay Group has won a ruling to stop broadcaster SBS and The Voice creator Talpa Media from using the title The Next Popstar for an upcoming Dutch talent show. Banijay objected to the name, saying it too closely resembled its own format, Popstars. That show, which has spawned versions in more than 50 countries, ran for three years on SBS’ SBS6, the same channel that The Next Popstar was targeting in the Netherlands. In its decision, the District Court of The Hague prohibited Talpa and SBS from using the name going forward based on an article of the Paris Convention relating to well-known trademarks. Banijay recently acquired a majority stake in Australian production company Screentime, which in 1999 created the Popstars format that served as a precursor to the Idol series of singing competition shows. Read More »
On the heels of a strong start of its first fall edition, NBC‘s reality series The Voice has been renewed for a fourth and fifth cycle. The fourth-season pickup for next spring is a formality as The Voice was already on the NBC midseason schedule presented to advertisers in May, and the network recently set a celebrity coaching team for it. But the early pickup of a fifth season to air in fall 2013 represents a vote of confidence for the unscripted series and indicates that the network is sticking with the current setup of two Voice cycles a season. Read More »
BREAKING… The 64th Primetime/Creative Arts Emmy Awards nominations announcement is taking place right now at 5:40 AM PST live at Emmys.com. All the nominees will be named here. Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game Of Thrones, Homeland, and Mad Men were nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. And The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock and Veep were nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. Scandal star Kerry Washington and Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel began announcing the nominees along with Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum from the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood:
Broadcast & Cable Scorecard
‘American Horror Story’ & ‘Mad Men’ Lead Nominations: Summary
2012 Emmys Nominations: By Network
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
64th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Girls • HBO • Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Modern Family • ABC • Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Television
Veep • HBO • Dundee Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy … Read More »
NBC has greenlighted The Winner Is, a singing game show from John de Mol’s Talpa Media USA, which co-produces NBC’s singing competition series The Voice. The Winner Is, which features a $1 million grand prize, combines vocal and bargaining abilities. It is open to singers of all ages – soloists and groups that include adults, kids, teens, seniors, families and professionals - all of whom will compete in head-to-head singing duels.
The contestants will be judged by an in-studio panel led by a celebrity judge. After every singing duel round, each contestant will have the chance to negotiate a deal before hearing their fate. If they have doubts about how they have measured up against their opponent, they can leave the show — in exchange for the instant cash that round is worth. But if they’re confident they performed better than their opponent, they can await the jury results to see if they’ve made it to the next round. The amount of money each duel is worth increases with every round.
In the finale, eight singers will duel and negotiate until just two singing contestants remain. After their performance, they each get the chance to walk away with $100,000 — or await the jury vote and the votes from the viewers for the chance to win the $1 million prize. John de Mol, co-creator of The Voice and creator of Big Brother, is the executive producer. “We are thrilled to be working with John de Mol, the creator and one of the producers of … Read More »
After speculation that NBC’s breakout hit The Voice may land the post-Super Bowl slot in February, NBC made it official today. Given its midseason launch, the singing competition appeared the leading contender for the biggest annual series showcase. Additionally, unscripted series tend to do very well after the Super Bowl as proven by CBS’ Survivor and Undercover Boss. Here is NBC’s release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (May 31, 2011) – NBC will broadcast a special hour-long episode of “The Voice” following the network’s exclusive coverage of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, February 5 (10-11 p.m. ET; time approximate). The announcements were made today by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.
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Warner Bros has signed an exclusive deal with John de Mol’s Talpa Media to produce British versions of the Dutch company’s TV shows. The deal is the latest piece in the jigsaw of Warner’s plan to establish worldwide production subsidiaries developing local versions of hit shows. Talpa’s best-known formats are Dating in the Dark, which has been sold to 20 territories already, and Divided, picked up by 13 territories. Both Dating in the Dark and Divided have already been sold to the UK. The Dutch company has set up co-production deals with other partners in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Ronald Goes, the head of Warner Bros’ international TV production arm, used to be CEO of Talpa prior to joining the studio in summer 2010.
The studio’s TV business is buying Brit TV production company Shed Media, maker of such programmes as Supernanny and The Choir, for around £100 million ($159 million) to boost its presence in this key market. That deal is expected to complete in October.
Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, is seen as a frontrunner to buy UK terrestrial channel Five. Other bidders include John De Mol, founder of TV producer Endemol (Big Brother), and Endemol itself, which De Mol’s investment company Cyrte Investments owns one third of.
You may wonder, as I have, why De Mol would want to bid against a company he indirectly owns part of? The answer is, apparently, that there’s no love lost between De Mol and the company he co-founded back in the 1990s. De Mol’s Cyrte Investments has reportedly teamed up with Talpa Media and Greece’s Antenna Group for De Mol’s personal bid, says the Financial Times.
Analysts believe that RTL wants up to $245 million for Five. It is difficult to put a price on Five because, although it is loss-making, it has a strategic value which belies its place in the market. Five also owns desirable slots on the Freeview digital terrestrial TV service. Like newspapers, there’s bragging rights in owning a TV station. Not many come up for sale. That’s why they’re so prized.
Desmond is a colourful character with a £950 million ($1.4 billion) fortune. His TV interests include digital porn channels Television X and Red Hot TV.
BSkyB was kicking the tyres on Five, as was Time Warner, but both have walked away.