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FremantleMedia Teams with Award-Winning Creator Marshall Herskovitz to Develop Weimar Berlin Historical Drama

3 December 2012 – FremantleMedia has recruited renowned writer / producer Marshall Herskovitz to oversee development of a TV drama series inspired by the popular non-fiction book Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski. The project, as yet unnamed, will be written and executive produced by the award-winning multi-hyphenate Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Traffic, Thirtysomething) and executive produced by Alan Gasmer (Vikings).

The series is set in 1920's and 30's Berlin, an electrifying, chaotic city at the forefront of literature, art and science -- a city about to collide with the rise of history's most brutal Fascist regime.  The book's accounts of American diplomats and correspondents -- who knew Hitler before his rise to infamy -- will be woven into a rich 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.

The partnership between FremantleMedia and Herskovitz has been cultivated by Jeff Tahler, SVP Acquisitions and Development, Global Content, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and Tony Optican, SVP Scripted Programming, FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), as part of FremantleMedia’s global strategy to develop and distribute large scale dramas for worldwide audiences.

Tahler and Optican jointly commented, “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Marshall Herskovitz to bring this project to life.  His vast experience in creating television and feature hits, combined with the elaborate social and political landscape surrounding the story of how one of the world’s most feared regimes eventually came to power, will provide Marshall with a completely new battlefield to explore. He’s the perfect partner for FremantleMedia to join forces with in order to create a series worthy of this fascinating portion of history.” 

Herskovitz, who has enjoyed a distinguished career in both film and television, commented, “It’s a joy to embark with FremantleMedia on this epic project.  Berlin during the 1920’s and 30’s 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.  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.”

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to work with top-level talent such as Marshall Herskovitz,” said David Ellender, Global CEO, FME.  “Joining forces with such a renowned Hollywood producer is the next step in our quest to create high quality dramas with best in class creators, writers, broadcasters and more.”

This latest drama highlights the success of FME’s global drama strategy which includes a number of recent projects with top partners including Wedding Band for TBS, with Mike Tollin (Smallville, One Tree Hill) and Hit & Miss for Sky Atlantic with creator Paul Abbot (Shameless, State of Play).

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Notes to Editors

About FremantleMedia and FremantleMedia Enterprises
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of television entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, which is in turn 92 percent owned by the international media company Bertelsmann. 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, Ludia, and Original Productions, amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating over 9,200 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 and the US), Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, and Neighbours.

For more information please contact:

Belinda Thomas-Dunphy
Acting Director of Global Communications
FremantleMedia Enterprises 
Tel: +44 (0) 207 691 6911

Kristina Kirk
Executive Director Communications, Americas
FremantleMedia Enterprises
Tel: +1 818 748 2521

Neil Schubert
Communications & Marketing
FremantleMedia North America 
Tel: +1 818 748 1148