The Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game is set to launch on 58 Sinclair stations, four CBS O&Os and others, pushing clearances for the fall 2014 syndicated pop culture game show past 80% of the U.S — up from 40% in less than a month. Tribune Broadcasting previously came aboard, acquiring Celebrity Name Game for all 25 of its stations. 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. The show teams celebrities with contestants to identify famous names, including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. Celebrity Name Game is co-produced and co-financed by FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury, and is distributed domestically by Debmar-Mercury and internationally by FremantleMedia.
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.
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.
EXCLUSIVE: FremantleMedia North America is assembling a new scripted programming team. I’ve learned that former Lionsgate TV and GK-tv executive Craig Cegielski has been tapped as EVP Scripted Programming and Development. He’s being joined by Playtone’s Stefanie …
Longtime FremantleMedia North America CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz is being promoted to CEO of the entire FremantleMedia company, which is owned by RTL. Frot-Coutaz will assume her new duties on July 1 and will be based in London. She will replace Tony Cohen who is stepping down. As for FMNA, it is yet unclear who will succeed Frot-Coutaz in the top post. “After being with the group for 17 years, Cécile has the vision and leadership that are needed to further grow FremantleMedia,” Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEO of RTL Group. “She brings expertise and drive from the largest TV market in the world and combines her creative skills as a producer with a sharp business perspective.” De Posch went on to thank Cohen.
EXCLUSIVE: Two weeks after FremantleMedia North America’s PR head Manfred Westphal abruptly resigned his post as SVP communications and marketing at the reality TV indie giant, he is joining talent agency APA as head of PR. At APA, …
This is a bizarre story that has had people scratching their heads over the past two days. FremantleMedia North America’s communications and marketing head Manfred Westphal has abruptly left the reality TV indie giant behind such shows as American Idol, America’s Got Talent and the upcoming X Factor. Westphal served as SVP of marketing and communications, reporting to CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. Word is Westphal quietly cleared his office over the weekend, leaving only a resignation letter for Frot-Coutaz on his desk, which his assistant found after he didn’t show up for work Monday. Adding to the mystery, his known personal phones have been disconnected, while his work phone number is automatically transferred to FremantleMedia North America’s main switchboard. The company’s head of human resources Ellen Goldsmith wouldn’t comment on the circumstances surrounding Westphal’s departure but confirmed that he “has resigned to make a change and pursue a new chapter in his life.” “We wish him the best,” she said, adding that the company is “in the process of recruiting” a replacement.