July 25, 2012 – FremantleMedia, the producer and distributor of several of the world’s most widely-watched television series, and Random House, Inc., the U.S. division of Random House, the world's largest trade-book publisher, both companies of Bertelsmann AG, announced today a major new creative and strategic partnership 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.
The first-look deal with FremantleMedia will reside within Random House Television, a newly created part of Random House Studio, the publisher's rebranded and expanded entertainment division led by Peter Gethers, President. Random House Television will work together with Random House's editors and publishers, and their authors' agents, to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted formats.
The partnership will also seek to collaborate with Random House authors to develop original scripted television properties they might create.
United Talent Agency represented Random House Studio and negotiated the first-look deal with FremantleMedia.
Jeffrey Levine has been appointed Head of Television for Random House Television, based in FremantleMedia's Los Angeles offices, reporting to Mr. Gethers. He will work closely with Jeff Tahler, FremantleMedia Enterprises’ Senior Vice President of Global Content, and Tony Optican, Senior Vice President of Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America, and with the entire Random House Studio team.
Mr. Levine joins the company from Spring Creek Productions, where he worked on the development of many of the company’s features including "Blood Diamond," “Monster-In-Law” and the now casting “This Is Where I Leave You.” Levine was an Executive Producer on HBO's "Too Big To Fail," which garnered 11 Emmy® nominations and won the WGA award for best adaption for Long Form. Previously Mr. Levine was Vice President, Movies and Mini-Series at Turner Broadcasting Company, where he oversaw the development of such projects as "James Dean" (Golden Globe®, Emmy®, ACE, and BFC winner), and "Mists of Avalon" (9 Emmy® nominations, WGA nominee).
Also joining the Random House Television team in Los Angeles is Christina Malach, Executive Story Editor, Random House Studio. The New York team under Mr. Gethers is Valerie Cates and Claudia Herr, both Executive Story editors, and Brady Emerson, Story Editor, Random House Studio.
In announcing the partnership, David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said "This is a hugely exciting coming together of two companies in the Bertelsmann family. As one of the world's most successful book publishers with a global roster of admired authors, Random House is the perfect partner for FremantleMedia as we continue to develop and expand our slate of world-class scripted content for international audiences. We warmly welcome Peter, Jeff and the entire Random House Television team, and look forward to working with them to develop high-quality television projects with wide appeal."
Peter Gethers said, "Partnering with the very talented and savvy FremantleMedia team gives us a wonderful opportunity to significantly increase the many options we already offer to Random House authors around the world. This alliance will enable us to help them expand into new creative and commercial areas to broaden their audience. Random House Television is a natural extension of the partnership we already enjoy with our writers and will help them flourish in an increasingly complex, exciting, and interdependent global entertainment business. I'm thrilled to have Jeff on board with us, and with the opportunity to work with FremantleMedia in the U.S. and internationally."
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Notes to Editors
ABOUT RANDOM HOUSE
Random House, Inc.'s mission is to connect readers worldwide to adult and children's fiction and nonfiction authors both familiar and new. It is home to more than 50 Nobel Prize laureates, 100 Pulitzer Prize winners, and many of the most widely read authors of our time. As the world's largest print and digital trade book publisher with 200 editorially-independent imprints, it publishes approximately 10,000 new books annually in print, digital, and audio formats, and sells more than 400 million books a year across the globe. Random House, Inc. (www.randomhouse.com) is the U.S. division of Random House, the book division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's leading media companies.
ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes FremantleMedia North America, UFA, FremantleMedia UK, FremantleMedia Australia and Original Productions amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), Hole In The Wall, Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, and Neighbours.
Since it launched its global drama strategy three years ago, FremantleMedia Enterprises has announced a number of high profile partnerships with some of the industry’s most powerful players including Mike Tollin, executive producer of Wedding Band, which will launch on TBS later this year; Paul Abbott’s AbbottVision, creators of Hit & Miss, commissioned by Sky Atlantic HD and currently airing on DIRECTV in the US; Pukeko Pictures, the affiliate television company of Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop; Justin Bodle, creator of premium slate drama series as The Day of the Triffids, Flood, Colditz, Archangel, Crusoe, Ice and XIII: The Conspiracy, which between them have sold to more than 240 broadcasters; and Barry Josephson, executive producer of global hit TV drama Bones.
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