Earlier this month, I wrote about gymnastics as a possible new frontier for celebrity competition shows, and about buzz that the BBC was readying such a project. The broadcaster has now made it official, commissioning Let’s Get Ready To Tumble. The show will air live in Saturday primetime and feature British celebs teamed with international gymnasts to tackle what are being described as “never-before-seen, new-to-TV disciplines.” The announcement could mean there will soon be two celebrity gymnastics formats in the international arena. I recently reported that CORE Media is developing Celebrity Champions in the U.S., an original format that sees former Olympians coach celebrities and has Mary Lou Retton attached as anchor judge. CORE is currently talking to U.S. networks.
Halfire-Core Entertainment, the joint production and financing venture between TV producer Noreen Halpern‘s Halfire Entertainment and CORE Media Group led by Marc Graboff, has added two to its exec ranks. Stephanie Fontana, niece to Borgias and Oz creator Tom Fontana, will serve as Director of Development and Production based in Halfire-CORE’s LA outpost. The 18-year TV development and production vet’s credits include the CW’s Reaper, ABC’s Desperate Housewives, and HBO’s Oz. Also joining the company is Toronto-based Ben Murray, who will serve as Director of Business Development after runs as director of biz affairs and development at Serendipity Point Films and as a programmer for the Toronto Film Festival.
Halfire-CORE, CORE Media Group’s scripted production venture with veteran Canadian producer Noreen Halpern‘s Halfire Entertainment banner, has closed a deal with NBC. Under the 3-for-1 agreement, Halfire-CORE will develop three lower budget drama projects for NBC, one of which is expected to go to series. No concepts or writers for the projects have been identified yet, but the producers are expected to begin the process shortly.
The pact illustrates Halfire-CORE’s strategy of entering the scripted primetime space by bypassing the traditional pilot cycle and going with a straight-to-series model instead. It also extends on NBC’s efforts in the lower-cost drama arena where the network has been probably the most active broadcast network, experimenting with different templates and partners, including Gaumont (Hannibal) and Georgeville TV (Crossbones). I hear the Halfire-CORE deal came out of Halpern’s existing relationships with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and scheduling chief Jeff Bader, with whom Halpern worked at ABC on Rookie Blue, one of several series she shepherded in her previous role as head of scripted for Entertainment One. Graboff, of course, also has a relationship with Greenblatt, with whom he worked for almost a year before leaving to head CORE, and with NBC where he spend more than a decade.
CORE Media Group has hired Tim Sullivan as SVP, Development and Production. He will work on developing and producing unscripted shows, reporting to CORE’s Head of U.S. Television Jen O’Connell. Sullivan most recently …
EXCLUSIVE: CORE Media Group, which co-produces American Idol, is expanding its unscripted portfolio by acquiring an ownership stake in Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher’s B17 Entertainment. Under the agreement, signed in a competitive situation with multiple suitors pursuing Bachner and Meagher, CORE will join forces with the duo to develop and produce non-fiction programming and explore multi-platform content opportunities, including mobile games and web-based series. “B17 is a forward thinking production company and teaming up with them fits perfectly into CORE’s overall mission of producing and owning great content for all platforms,” said CORE president Marc Graboff, while the company’s head of U.S. Television Jen O’Connell called B17 ”part of the next generation of great prod companies.”"They’re prolific, and they have such great ideas that are inventive and fresh,” she said. At CORE, Bachner and Meagher join unscripted producer Rob Lee, who signed a deal there a year ago, Matt Sharp, whose company CORE acquired last summer, as well as Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, whose Hazy Mills Prods. has a deal with CORE for scripted, unscripted and digital projects that fall outside of their deal at NBC. Additionally, CORE recently launched a scripted venture with Noreen Halpern and has Simon Shaps building its international base.
Veteran producer Glenn Stickley (The Amazing Race) has joined Core Media Group, the umbrella company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, as SVP TV Production, while former FremantleMedia exec Jenny Ramirez has been hired as VP Development and Production. Both will report to Jennifer O’Connell, head of Core’s U.S. Television Division. Under President Marc Graboff, Core has been expanding its production capabilities through deals with independent producers, including acquiring Sharp Entertainment.
CORE Media President Marc Graboff has recruited a former NBC colleague to oversee the company’s original scripted and unscripted production and development. Jennifer O’Connell has been named head of U.S. Television for CORE Media Group. She will start in mid-October, based in the company’s Los Angeles offices and reporting to Graboff. “I have always been impressed by Jen’s intelligence and creativity, as well as her great relationships in the creative community,” said Graboff. “With her deep experience on the selling and producing side of the television business, coupled with her prior expertise as a network buyer, Jen is truly the ideal executive to lead CORE’s television operations.”
Former NBCUniversal executive Cameron Death has joined CORE Media Group as Chief Revenue Officer. In the newly created position, he will be responsible for creating and extending revenue through sponsorships, integrated marketing, and the development of other ancillary revenue streams, reporting to new CORE president Marc Graboff who …
CORE Media Group (formerly CKx), the umbrella company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the Elvis Presley estate and the Muhammad Ali brand, has signed its first producing partnership. Core has inked a multiyear production and consulting pact with Rob Lee and his Bayonne Entertainment. Lee will develop and produce all his future television and digital projects through Core and will advise Core CEO Marc Graboff on original TV content production and distribution. He will be based in Los Angeles and work out of the offices of Core’s 19 Entertainment.