FremantleMedia North America, the production company behind the megahit “American Idol,” has sealed a multiyear co-venture deal with top reality producer Stuart Krasnow (“Average Joe”).
Krasnow has spent the past several years at NBC Studios, where he exec produced fare such as “Joe,” “Weakest Link” and “Dog Eat Dog.” Under the new deal, he’ll launch shingle Krasnow Prods., where he’ll create alternative fare for network, cable and syndication.
Also under the pact, Krasnow Prods. will adapt previous formats for the U.S. market, and Krasnow may also exec produce existing FremantleMedia programming.
“He was near the top of our wish list for a year,” said FremantleMedia North America CEO Tom Gutteridge. “We’ve been looking for a big name showrunner to join the company. And he was looking for ownership of his own intellectual property, as well as direct access to markets. It was an ideal relationship for both of us.”
Under the pact, FremantleMedia and Krasnow will jointly oversee the Krasnow Prods. brand. Fremantle will provide overhead costs for Krasnow, who’s expected to bring in a development team.
Fremantle and Krasnow will “share intelligence on industry needs, and Stuart is also keen to work on some of our new developed properties as well,” Gutteridge said.
Krasnow will also have access to FremantleMedia’s global distribution infrastructure. Fremantle is part of Europe’s RTL Group, itself a division of Bertelsmann.
“Obviously, our interest was in increasing the creative supply of properties that could go into our international operation,” Gutteridge said. “We will own distribution rights to the shows he creates.”
First up, Krasnow Prods. already has a project in the works at the WB.
Krasnow had been set up at NBC since 2000. Besides producing “Weakest Link” with the Gurin Co., UTA-repped Krasnow has also exec produced “The Martin Short Show.”
Beyond producing “Idol” (with 19 TV) for Fox, FremantleMedia’s current series include “The Swan,” “Distraction” and “The Price Is Right.”