Tom Lane has joined ITV Studios America as SVP Business & Legal Affairs. Based in LA, he will oversee the company’s scripted and nonscripted business and legal affairs activity, including compliance, litigation, distribution and all deals from development through to production. Reporting to ITV Studios America President Orly Adelson, he will manage teams on both coasts. “Tom’s dealmaking will be vital as we continue to take ITV Studios America into its next phase of growth,” Adelson said in a statement. He joins from CBS Studios International, where he also was SVP Business & Legal Affairs. Before that he spent more than 13 years at the CBS Law Department, most recently as VP and Assistant General Counsel.
In her new position, Julie Meldal-Johnsen will be transitioning from her current role of EVP Operations ITV Studios U.S. Group and focus on planning and driving the growth strategy of ITV Studios America, including developing first-look deals and strategic partner relationships. She will also be overseeing the company’s scripted business including her being across budgets, development and deals. In addition, Meldal-Johnsen will be involved in scripted projects across the ITV Studios US Group. Meldal-Johnsen will be based in the Los Angeles office and report to ITV Studios America President, Orly Adelson.
Profits may be up 20% at its UK parent company, but ITV Studios America today found its relationship with the Writers Guild of America East taking a steep fall. As contract talks between the two parties grind on, the scribe guild claims that ITV Studios America has been depriving about 150 of its writers and producers of up to $30,000 a year in deserved overtime pay on its unscripted shows including A&E’s The First 48, Nat Geo Wild’s Cesar 911 and TLC’s Four Weddings. The WGA East says that up until two weeks ago, the Sherman Oaks- and NYC-based company has been making employees put in 60- to 80-hour weeks without any of the compensation that are entitled to under federal and state laws. Under pressure from the guild, the company began giving associate producers overtime pay two weeks ago and not retroactively. That’s only a partial solution, says the WGA East. “Companies like ITV simply cannot insist that employees devote every waking moment to the company, month in and month out,” said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson today. The situation at ITV Studios America comes as the WGA is taking a short break from its sometime-tense negotiations with the studios and the networks over a new 3-year contract.
The 10-year company veteran is being promoted from EVP Development, Production and Operations for New York. As ITV Studios America‘s COO, East Coast, Patrice Andrews will continue to manage the company’s ops in the region. She joined the production company behind The First 48 and Four Weddings in 2004 after stints at A&E, MetroTV and Discovery Channel. Andrews will report to ITV Studios America President Orly Adelson.
Brian Zagorski has been promoted to SVP of Current and Programming at ITV Studios America. In his newly expanded role, Zagorski will continue to oversee the company’s production slate on the West Coast. His recent projects include #RichKids Of Beverly Hills for E!, the new Cesar Millan series Cesar 911 for Nat Geo Wild, game show The Chase for GSN and nationally syndicated daily magazine show America Now. Zagorski joined ITV Studios America in 2007 as Executive Director of Development. Before that he served as Executive Director of Post Production at Fox’s Twentieth TV.
ITV Studios America has pacted with Justin Killion in a non-scripted overall and first-look scripted deal to create, develop and exec produce television programming for the production entity. The move was announced today by Bruce Robertson, SVP Creative Strategy of ITV Studios America. Killion will be working directly with development exec Tim Urian.
Killion comes to ITV Studios America from Original Productions where he served as SVP Development. During his tenure there he created, developed and sold hundreds of hours of non-scripted TV to multiple networks, including the Storage Wars franchise, and set up more than a dozen scripted projects. He was previously a literary manager at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Deborah Spera and Maria Grasso and their One-Two Punch Prods have closed a two-year first-look deal at ITV Studios America, the U.S.-based division of the ITV-owned British production company. The pact, which will have the duo develop new projects for ITV Studios, including formats from the ITV library, comes on the heels of a strong selling season for One-Two Punch, which has set up five projects at Fox, NBC and ABC, with a sixth close to a deal. Former Lifetime and OWN executive Grasso and former Mark Gordon Prods president Spera, who met while working together on the Mark Gordon Prods’ Lifetime series Army Wives, teamed up to launch One-Two Punch in June 2011. For the past two seasons, the company was under a deal at Sony TV. Here are details on the five sold One-Two Punch Prods projects:
Orly Adelson, president of Dick Clark Prods, will be leaving the production company to join ITV‘s U.S. production unit ITV Studios America as president. Adelson, a respected producer, joined Dick Clark in 2008 shortly after the company was bought by Daniel Snyder’s Red Zone Capital Management. Last year, following Clark’s death, dcp was sold again to a partnership of investors. Allen Shapiro came in as CEO, with his long-time collaborator, Michael Mahan, following him this spring when he was named President of DC Media, the parent company of Dick Clark Prods. That created some confusion with both Mahan and Adelson carrying a president title, but the two worked well together for the past few months. Mahan is now expected to take over all of Adelson’s responsibilities when she leaves in a month or two for a streamlined top management at Dick Clark. Meanwhile, Adelson is getting a top job at ITV Studios and is reporting to Paul Buccieri, president and CEO ITV Studios U.S. Group and managing director ITV Studios International. ITV Studios U.S. Group was just forged as an umbrella company this month following ITV’s acquisition of Gurney Prods, High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media. ITV Studios America, the production unit Adelson will run, also falls under the ITV Studios U.S. Group umbrella.
The umbrella ITV Studios U.S. Group will include ITV’s existing production business ITV Studios America as well as recently acquired Duck Dynasty producer Gurney Productions, Cake Boss‘ High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media. The new group will be led by a team chaired by Paul Buccieri, who now hold the titles of president & CEO ITV Studios U.S. Group and Managing Director ITV Studios International. As part of the new leadership structure, ITV Studios International Director of Legal & Business Affairs Julie Meldal-Johnsen has been appointed to EVP Operations, and ITV Studios America SVP Business Affairs Ivan Garel-Jones to EVP Business Affairs, effective immediately. Oliver De La Hoz joins as EVP Finance from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he helped shepherd the majority interest acquisitions of Gurney, High Noon and Thinkfactory, and comes aboard later this month. Buccieri continues to head up ITV Studios’ wider international business, which includes production companies in Germany, France, Australia and the Nordics, plus distribution business ITV Studios Global Entertainment. “Under Paul’s leadership we have continued to make great progress in building a strong international content business, an important part of ITV’s Transformation Plan”, said Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, ITV Studios. “The creation of this new leadership team will further underpin the momentum Paul has built as we continue to drive forward the expansion of the ITV Studios US Group.” ITV Studios America currently series including Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares as well as the …
Veteran showrunner John X. Kim has been promoted to Senior Executive Producer, ITV Studios America. Kim is the co-creator and executive producer of the real-life homicide investigation series The First 48, now in its 15th season on A&E. He also exec produces After The First 48 and The Killer Speaks, both currently airing on A&E, and the upcoming The Mathis Project on BET. His previous EP credits include real-life dramas Steven Seagal: Lawman, The Runaway Squad, The Interrogators, Vanished, Dallas SWAT, Miami City Vice and Crime Scenes Uncovered.
ITV Studios America has appointed Rob Shaftel as SVP Development (East Coast). Based in ITV Studios America’s New York office, he will develop new programming for the U.S. broadcast and cable markets, reporting to Bruce Robertson, head of development for ITV Studios America. Shaftel was previously VP Development at unscripted production company Leftfield Pictures and worked in program development at Discovery.
The overall deal is the latest for ITV Studios’ U.S.-based indie production arm ITV Studios America and brings into the fold Bob Kusbit‘s One Louder, which is behind Made and the upcoming Totally Clueless on MTV as well as current projects at A&E, truTV and elsewhere. Kusbit returned to his 10-year-old production company full time in January 2011 after a stint at CMT, where as head of development he oversaw series like Gone Country and My Big Redneck Wedding and the network first sitcom, Working Class. That partnership stemmed from a development deal he had with MTV Networks, where he produced series, specials and events. Before that, he was SVP Production at MTV, where he launched its Times Square Studio in 1997 and created Total Request Live with Carson Daly. Today’s deal was announced by Paul Buccieri, Managing Director of ITV Studios International and president and CEO of ITV Studios America. “His experience, extensive industry contacts and his company’s project base and team, makes One Louder Productions and Bob ideal partners at ITV Studios as we continually grow our worldwide presence.” Buccieri said.
EXCLUSIVE: After seven years at ICM and a total of 15 with agent Greg Lipstone, ITV Studios America has signed with WME in all areas, including unscripted and scripted TV. The company (then Granada America) was repped by Lipstone at WMA until 2005, when he moved to ICM, bringing Granada with him. With the 2009 merger between WMA and Endeavor, ITV Studios’ signing with WME represents a return of sorts to its old agency.
The series pickups ITV Studios landed while with ICM include reality series Kitchen Nightmares (Fox); Steven Seagal: Lawman (A&E); Meet The In-Laws (CMT); Four Weddings, On the Fly and May The Best House Win (TLC); Real Life: The Musical (OWN); NBC drama Prime Suspect; and upcoming ABC comedy The Family Tools. (Lipstone also packaged the company’s hit Hell’s Kitchen while at WMA; the package is owned by WMA successor WME.) The list of pilots include The Chase (Fox), Surprise, Surprise (NBC), Devil’s Dinner Party (CW, presentation), and The Audience, which is being shopped. ITV Studios’ syndicated series credits include The Jeremy Kyle Show, The Bill Cunningham Show and America Now/America Today.
Bowles joins ITV as the company steps up its drive to rebalance the business and grow its production base both in the UK and internationally. He will be working with Paul Buccieri, Managing Director ITV Studios International, based at ITV Studios America headquarters in Sherman Oaks, and will report to Tom Betts, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, ITV plc.
EXCLUSIVE: ITV Studios America has signed a first-look development deal with M3 Creative, Andy Meyers’ creative agency that is branching out into series production. The pact covers rights on original non-scripted projects from M3, which specializes in branded content, marketing and advertising across all platforms and has clients that include Disney, NBCUniversal and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. ITV Studios America acquires, develops and produces reality and scripted fare for the U.S. market; its slate includes Prime Suspect, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, First 48 and Steven Seagal: Lawman.
ITV Studios America has closed a producer pod deal with Bienstock Young Media, the company of veteran unscripted producers Jay Bienstock and Eugene Young whose credits include The Apprentice, Survivor, Bachelor Pad, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Deal or No Deal, The Price is Right, Family Feud and Let’s Make a Deal. Young, formerly chief creative officer at FremantleMedia North America, most recently created and is executive producing CBS’ summer series Same Name.
ITV Studios America president CEO Paul Buccieri has been promoted to Managing Director ITV Studios International. In the newly created role he will shepherd the company’s international strategy with focus on expanding international production and the exploitation of ITV Studios’ brands. Buccieri will continue to oversee ITV Studios America, which he has run for the past four years, in addition to all international production companies and ITV Studios Global Entertainment, reporting to Kevin Lygo, Managing Director ITV Studios. “Our focus is to expand the business by leveraging that expertise and our international footprint to build on our portfolio of global hits, both in scripted and non-scripted,” Buccieri said. We are also targeting investment to increase co-productions, such as Titanic, and in resources to grow our consumer products business.”
A show about antiques on Fox?! The network has greenlighted Buried Treasure, a new unscripted series starring antiques experts and appraisers Leigh and Leslie Keno (identical twin brothers of Antiques Roadshow fame), who travel across the country to help people sell collectibles lying around their homes. The series, from ITV Studios America, was created by Joe Livecchi (What Not to Wear), who is exec producing with Paul Buccieri, Tim Miller, Leigh Keno, Leslie Keno and Tim Eagan.