Duo unveils joint venture for French TV

On the eve of the Mip TV programming sales market in Cannes, reality producer Mark Burnett unveiled a joint venture with top Gaul player Endemol France.

New entity, to be called Mark Burnett Prods. France, will be the exclusive French producer of all formats from Burnett’s catalog and will also collaborate on the development of new formats.

The joint venture essentially brings together the expertise of two leading players in the creation of entertainment, gameshow and reality fare.

Mip TV itself has been transformed and reinvigorated by the proliferation of global reality content this past decade, so it was fitting the partners chose to unveil their relationship here on the Cannes Croisette.

Burnett’s company was instrumental in shows ranging from “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” to the current Fox hit “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” “Pirate Master” debuts on CBS this summer.

“Endemol France’s record of consistently producing top-rated programs makes them an obvious fit for our joint venture,” Burnett said.

As one of the leading producers in France, Endemol has experience in adapting and producing third-party formats, as well as enjoying easy access to all major broadcasters. Company produced or localized “The Farm,” “Fear Factor,” “Wife Swap” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

“Having started discussions between our two companies 18 months ago, we’re delighted to be teaming up at such an exciting time,” said Endemol France general manager Virginie Calmels.

No financial details of the deal were available Sunday; nor was it clear how an eventual sale of Endemol by its Spanish owner Telefonica would affect, if at all, the arrangement with Burnett.

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