Net gets access to 'Bachelor' guru, other producers
Mike Fleiss’ Telepictures-based Next Entertainment has found a second home — and the address is CBS.
Eye has inked a seven-figure, multiyear deal that gives the net access to both Fleiss (“The Bachelor”) and his roster of reality showrunners, Including Scott Einziger (“The Amazing Race”) and Lisa Levenson (“Big Brother 2”).
Under the deal, CBS can bring projects to Fleiss to exec produce, either by himself or with other Next-based producers. In addition, pact has a second-look component for projects personally developed by Fleiss.
ABC has first dibs on skeins created by Fleiss as part of its first-look deal with the producer and Telepictures (Daily Variety, Oct. 10). That deal, however, does not prevent Next from producing shows which spring from other nets or the minds of Next’s other producers.
CBS unscripted topper Ghen Maynard said the Eye has “been eager to get involved with Mike Fleiss and his company for quite a long time.”
“Mike has a great creative spin and a vision on concepts that might otherwise seem ordinary,” Maynard added. “He’s also built a great company with producers we’ve been in business with before, like Scott and Lisa. The ability to bring projects to him and use his (producers) was also a big factor (in making the deal.)”
Fleiss pact — along with deals with Mark Burnett and Simon Cowell — puts the Eye in business with “people who represent the three biggest reality shows on TV,” Maynard said, referring to “The Bachelor,” “Survivor,” and “American Idol,” respectively. Cowell is exec producing the Eye summer skein “Cupid.”
Fleiss said he’s happy “to be in business with a number of different networks,” noting “High School Reunion” is now readying a second season on the WB.
What’s more, deal gives Next Entertainment a chance to greatly expand its overall output.
“I’ve got a lot of talented people at the company, and they have ideas that are excellent, too,” Fleiss said. “This deal sort of speaks to the machine CAA and Telepictures have helped me build over here. We can make a lot of product.”
CAA reps Fleiss, Next and producers Einziger and Levenson.
Fleiss also welcomed the chance to work with CBS chairman/CEO Leslie Moonves.
“To sit in the room (making the deal) and experience the whole Les Moonves thing was awesome,” he said.