In a fallout from last month’s announcement that FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz will replace Tony Cohen as CEO of parent company FremantleMedia, FremntleMedia’s COO Gary Carter has resigned. Carter, who has worked for FremantleMedia since 2005, had been widely tipped for the CEO job. He will now help with the transition to the new CEO before leaving at the end of the year. Carter oversees FremantleMedia’s European operations; serves as the chief creative officer of FMX, the company’s experimental cross-platform division; and heads Creative Networks, which consists of FremantleMedia’s Worldwide Drama and Worldwide Entertainment departments. “Since joining FremantleMedia, I have been fortunate enough to experience many parts of this company, but believe that it is now time for me to seek out new experiences,” he said in a statement. Carter joined FremantleMedia Worldwide Entertainment in January 2005, having been a consultant for the company since August 2003. Before that, Carter was executive director of program affairs for Endemol.
EXCLUSIVE: As part of FremantleMedia Enterprises’ efforts to beef up its scripted portfolio, the company has signed a first-look deal with film and TV producer Barry Josephson’s production company, Josephson Entertainment. As part of the deal, Josephson Entertainment has hired a TV development executive: Disney Channel’s Tia Maggini is joining as VP for Television. She will focus on developing new drama projects for U.S. cable networks and the global marketplace, working alongside Jeff Tahler, FME’s SVP Global Content, and Tony Optican, SVP Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America. Josephson is already in business with Fremantle — the two are producing a couple of projects together, including sci-fi action drama The Dover Agenda, a sci-fi thriller from writer Brett Conrad (Sons Of Anarchy), which is in development at Syfy. “U.S. cable drama is now the most consistently compelling content anywhere on television,” said David Ellender, Global CEO of FME. “Having identified the opportunities that exist on these networks, FME is partnering with the industry’s most prominent talent in order to help create high-quality dramas that not only work for U.S. audiences but which also have worldwide appeal.” FremantleMedia has first-look deals with Mike Tollin’s Tollin Prods and Pukeko, the TV division of Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop.
Sunday 1st April, 2012 – FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has announced at MIPTV that it has entered into a major first-look deal with internationally-acclaimed producer Justin Bodle, to develop and globally distribute ambitious new dramas, mini-series and movies for television.
Today’s deal will see FME and Bodle develop and produce an initial slate of four blockbuster dramas, the first of which – Fire of London (w/t) – is an epic four hour television mini-series which dramatises the terrifying effects on the families, politicians and people living in London and questions how the world would react were the legendary events of 1666 to repeat themselves in the new millennium.
Bodle has created such impressive, premium slate drama series as The Day of the Triffids, Flood, Colditz, Archangel, Crusoe, Ice and
2ND UPDATE 1:15 PM: Simon Fuller’s legal battle with Fox and FremantleMedia is quickly turning nasty, with the two sides throwing salvos at each other. Would they be able to bury the hatchet and maintain a decent working relationship on the upcoming 11th season of American Idol while the legal …
Kate Bulkley is covering MIPTV at Cannes for Deadline.
Speaking at MIPTV in Cannes, FremantleMedia’s CEO Tony Cohen said the company is focusing on its “existing franchises” like X Factor, Idol and Got Talent. He was bullish on the revamped American Idol, predicting that in its 10th season will …
I’m told that ITV is still discussing this 3rd show with Syco, which it plans to make after X Factor launches in the U.S. next Fall. The broadcaster hasn’t said yes to it yet. But Ellis Watson, managing director of Simon Cowell’s UK production company Syco, says the next show after Got Talent and X Factor won’t be a talent search. And it will almost certainly be made first by RTL’s production company FremantleMedia
JENNIFER LOPEZ IS NEW ‘IDOL’ JUDGE! Closed Deal This Week; Replaces Ellen Who Wanted Out of Contract: “It’s Not Been Fun”
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE 6:30 PM: We’ve just learned the backstory of how Ellen DeGeneres bowed out of American Idol and who will be the new judge taking her place. It’s Jennifer Lopez, whose singing and acting career has been on the skids after her recent movie failed at the box office in the spring and she was dropped by her record company Sony Music Epic Records this past winter. We hear her manager Benny Medina (whom she once fired) orchestrated the meeting with the American Idol producers a month ago, and negotiations have been ongoing ever since. We’ve learned a deal was closed earlier this week under the utmost secrecy. Today’s news came shortly after Nigel Lythgoe returned to Idol as an executive producer. He has vowed to shake up the show’s team of judges in the wake of the departure of Simon Cowell, publicly stating that he always thought a panel of three and not 4 made the most sense.
Still to be decided is who will replace Simon Cowell. Everyone associated with the show wants Elton John, but we hear he’s asking for too much money and has too many touring commitments he can’t get out of. (Denials That Justin Or Elton Judging ‘Idol’) 2ND UPDATE: Tonight, unconfirmed reports say Idol has offered Cowell’s judge seat to Steven Tyler. 3RD UPDATE: And another unconfirmed report claimed judge Kara DioGuardi has been fired to bring the panel count down to just 3, not 4.
As for Ellen Degeneres, we’re told she wanted off the show two months ago and complained that Idol producers “couldn’t control Cowell”, one insider tells us. Least of all Cecile Frot-Coutaz, the CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “Cecile is doing X Factor with Simon, so she’s in his back pocket.” DeGeneres and her reps went in to to see Fox Broadcasting’s Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice and Alternative TV President Mike Darnell and asked to be let out of the year left on her contract. “She’s not comfortable. She’s not happy. It’s not been fun,” Fox was told. But Rice and Darnell responded that, with Cowell leaving, “We can’t let you out now because it would be bad for our franchise. Give us a chance to figure out who we could get.” In the end, all the show’s producers – Fox, Fremantle, and 19 Entertainment – worked it out. “Peter Rice was awesome,” an insider tells us. “Ellen is thrilled and relieved.” We’ve learned that serious conversations took place between Idol and Jessica Simpson to replace Ellen. But once Jennifer Lopez was locked in this week, the DeGeneres announcement went out.
FremantleMedia’s game show Hole in the Wall is back in a new family format on a new net, Cartoon Network. Cartoon has ordered 10 episodes of the show based on a Japanese format in which players must contort themselves to fit through cutouts in a large Styrofoam wall moving towards …