BBC Hit With Civil Claims In Jimmy Savile Scandal
A lawyer acting on behalf of 31 victims of the late Jimmy Savile has lodged civil claims for compensation in the high court against the disgraced host’s estate and the BBC over allegations of sexual abuse. Attorney Alan Collins told The Guardian that all claims are against Savile’s estate with “seven or eight” against the BBC itself, which the suits allege has “vicarious liability” in the case. Another lawyer working on behalf of a further 62 victims told Bloomberg that the action was premature, because parties involved had agreed to wait for the results of the police investigation into Savile. “We do not believe the commencement of litigation at this stage to be either necessary or in our clients’ best interest,” she said. – Joe Utichi
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Global Showbiz Briefs: Savile Claims Hit BBC, Sony TV In Russia, TLC’s ‘Bizarre ER’, Fremantle’s ‘Family Harmony’ And More
BBC Hit With Civil Claims In Jimmy Savile Scandal
Australia Distribs Confident Of Fast Take-off For UltraViolet
The UltraViolet format launches in Australia on May 1, a joint effort from the majors and independent distributors which they are confident will avoid the pitfalls which plagued the technology’s introduction in the U.S. Key elements of the Australian launch include a unified marketing campaign, the participation of all distributors except Disney, which has yet to join the UV bandwagon, and the support of dominant retail chains, home entertainment retailers and digital download services. The Oz-based working group that includes members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem Universal, Sony, Fox, Warner, Paramount, Roadshow and Hopscotch eOne, predicts 300,000 Australian homes will sign up for UV accounts by October 31. Australia still has a very healthy DVD rental business, partly because pay-TV penetration is a relatively low 30%, Netflix and Hulu haven’t entered the market and the SVOD business is tiny. U.S. and Australian companies that supply UV back-end services have been pitching the mass merchandisers. Distributors haven’t announced titles for the May launch. The primary target of the marketing campaigns will be families and people aged 25-45, rather than early adopters regarded as less receptive to UV. Distributors hope the ease and convenience of downloading films to multiple devices via UV will reduce piracy. – Don Groves
A Max Steel movie still hasn’t gotten off the ground, but the brand is making a comeback. Mattel is set to relaunch the action property in March with a 26-episode animated series premiering in the U.S. on Disney XD, and a worldwide rollout in over 100 territories. Mattel is co-producing with FremantleMedia Enterprises which will handle overseas rights. The Max Steel line of action figures was originally introduced in the U.S. in 1999, but Mattel pulled back on the brand domestically following 9/11, EVP for global brands, Tim Kiplin, told the NYT. It nevertheless became a huge hit in Latin America and the toymaker now sees an opportunity to establish a major new franchise grounded in multimedia. The reboot will include the Disney TV series, a live-action short movie, an online content hub, mobile games, graphic novels, toys and other products. The original concept of the brand has also been tweaked to make Max younger and more relatable to boys who see the teen hero and his alien companion, Steel, combine their turbo energy and heightened intellect to create the ultimate superhero. If the reboot clicks, perhaps it will light a fire under the bigscreen version that was originally set up at Paramount in 2009. Hit the jump for Mattel’s press release:
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 …
LONDON, December 13 2012 Exclusive Media, the filmed entertainment company based in Los Angeles and London, announced today that it has established a television division and inked a global first look development and distribution deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME).
Exclusive Media Television (EMTV) will be run by Exclusive Media Vice Chairman and Hammer President Simon Oakes, and is already in active development on a number of high profile projects, which will be announced in due course.
Marshall Herskovitz To Write And Produce Drama About Rise Of German Nazis For FremantleMedia Based On Book ‘Hitlerland’
EXCLUSIVE: In one of FremantleMedia‘s highest-profile scripted projects to date, the American Idol and X Factor producer has teamed with veteran feature and TV writer/producer Marshall Herskovitz for a drama series project inspired by the book Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski published earlier this year. Herskovitz will write the adaptation and executive produce with producer/manager Alan Gasmer (Vikings).
The series is set in 1920s and ’30s Berlin, an electrifying, chaotic city at the forefront of literature, art and science. The book’s accounts of American diplomats and correspondents who witnessed Hitler and the Nazis’ rise to power will be woven into a fictional tapestry of political intrigue, pursuit of power, and personal danger — set against the backdrop of the most sexually and artistically liberated city in the world. “Berlin during the 1920s and ’30s was so alive, so filled with promise, so incredibly modern — even today, much of what we think of as new or avant-garde was created then,” Herskovitz said. “And it’s equally important — in light of the dark forces in our world today — to understand how a group like the Nazis ever came to power.”
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and Vuguru LLC today announce a major new first-look deal for international rights to the independent studio’s original commission programming. The deal will see FME distribute Vuguru original content across all digital, linear and home entertainment platforms outside North America from 2013, further diversifying FME’s catalogue of high-quality, distinctive scripted programming and forging a new partnership between one of the most exciting content producers and one of the most powerful content distributors in the industry.
An independent multi-platform studio, Vuguru was founded in 2006 by former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner and is also backed by Rogers Media of Canada In the intervening years it has developed and financed premium, award winning and immensely popular scripted multiplatform titles that have been distributed across online, mobile, and linear television platforms in over 40 countries around the world, attracting global audiences and global advertisers.
Global Showbiz: FremantleMedia Names Worldwide Drama Head, Doha Film Institute Appoints CEO, UK TV Tax Credit
FremantleMedia’s Donna Wiffen To Head Worldwide Drama
Just ahead of the Mipcom TV market in Cannes next week, FremantleMedia has promoted Donna Wiffen to head of worldwide drama. The move frees up Claire Tavernier, previously senior executive VP of FMX and worldwide drama, to focus solely on FMX, the company’s new media division. Wiffen will support drama strategy and production including the development, acquisition and roll-out of all scripted formats. She was formerly SVP production and network for drama. FremantleMedia is bringing US dramas to Cannes next week including political series Battleground, the first original drama from Hulu that the company is offering as part of their first-look deal. The 13 half hours are exec produced by JD Walsh, Hagai Shaham and Marc Webb.
American Idol producer FremantleMedia and Random House Inc, the U.S. division of trade-book publisher Random House, have partnered to develop scripted television programming for the U.S. and international markets based on the fiction and nonfiction books published by Random House’s imprints in North America and internationally. As part of the first-look deal, Random House Studio, the publisher’s rebranded entertainment division led by president Peter Gethers, is launching new division Random House Television. It will work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to acquire rights for broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted projects and will collaborate with Random House authors to develop original scripted television properties. Both FremantleMedia and Random House are Bertelsmann AG companies.
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 …
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