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ProSieben Division Acquires 51% Of Chris Coelen’s Production Co. Kinetic Content

Nellie Andreeva

ProSiebenSat.1´s Red Arrow Entertainment Group has acquired a majority stake in the U.S.production company Kinetic Content launched in March by former RDF Media USA CEO Chris Coelen. The 51% interest, valued in the eight-figure range, gives Red Arrow presence in the U.S., something the company didn’t have.

Kinetic’s primary focus is unscripted television, and its product will be sold worldwide by Red Arrow´s program distribution arm, SevenOne International. Like Kinetic, Red Arrow also was launched this year, in January. Its talent roster includes format heavyweight Dick de Rijk, creator of Deal or No Deal. Prior to its deal with ProSiebenSat.1, Europe’s second largest broadcast group, Kinetic set up exclusive programming ventures with UK broadcasters Channel 4 and STV, the new company of Survivor creator Charlie Parsons as well as the Dutch company Absolutely Independent.

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UK Network Developing U.S. Cable Shows

C4 logoChannel 4 has struck a development deal with Kinetic Content, the new US production company set up by former RDF USA boss Chris Coelen. Under the deal, 4Rights, Channel 4’s rights exploitation division, will have first-look at UK rights to Kinetic shows which get picked up by US cable networks.

In effect, Channel 4 is seed funding US cable shows which it can then broadcast over here. At the moment, it’s talking about developing two or three shows each year. That’s comparable to the $300,000 per hour it pays roughly for US acquisitions. Channel 4’s investment will increase if a show does get picked up. The broadcaster has always enjoyed big ratings with US imports such as ER and Friends. This way round is a kind of reverse engineering – developing shows which C4 thinks will work in Britain.

Kinetic is developing 13-part cable dramas as well as shorter-run event series. Coelen will start meeting writers and agents over the coming month.

As CEO of RDF USA, Coelen oversaw the company’s move into scripted programming, obtaining series orders for dramas including the US version of BBC Three’s Being Human with cable network Syfy, and the Channel 4/Showtime co-production Meadowlands (Cape Wrath).

Dominic Schreiber, rights development manager at 4Rights, tells me: “Channel 4 buys a lot of US shows from the studios. This is a different way of looking at the US. It’s getting involved with writers and show-runners at the development stage. And … Read More »

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