Company promotes two top execs
Ben Silverman’s Reveille Entertainment, which specializes in reality formats, has promoted its top two international executives and substantially boosted its slate of programming.Chris Grant has been upped to exec VP and John Pollak to VP of international distribution and creative affairs. The two will be handling several newly unveiled gameshow and reality projects at the upcoming Mip TV market in Cannes. They include “Nothing but the Truth,” from producer Howard Schultz (“Extreme Makeover”), for which deals have already been secured for the U.K., Germany and Australia. It is apparently close to clinching a broadcast deal in the States. Reveille also just snapped up “The Producer,” a reality contest show from Magical Elves Prods. that will air on the TV Guide Channel Stateside, and “What It Takes,” a celebrity-focused reality series that airs on Reelz Channel. These projects join the company’s current hits. “Identity” airs Stateside on NBC. Quizzer has been licensed as a format in more than a dozen foreign territories, including to the U.K. (the BBC) and Germany (ProSieben). The original American version has been sold to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and Singapore. The company’s other midseason gameshow, “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” which airs on Fox in the U.S., has been licensed for almost all the major European territories as well as for several Asian and Latin countries. Reveille’s best-known hit abroad is “The Biggest Loser,” now in its fifth season. “Gameshows are a big crowd-pleaser globally, and they’re efficient to produce, even in smaller territories. Plus there are more and more channels and more emerging markets than ever before,” Silverman said. Grant and Pollak have been with Reveille since startup five years ago. They were both trained in the biz by the former William Morris agent-turned-producer and entrepreneur Silverman. The appointments, Silverman told Daily Variety, are a reflection of the importance of the global market to the success of the company. “Chris has proven himself one of the best young executives in the international biz,” Silverman said, adding that the team under Grant and Pollak had grown from none to nine in just five years. (Grant followed his boss Silverman from the William Morris agency when Reveille was set up; Pollak started as an intern at Reveille.) Their previous titles were senior VP and director, respectively. “We’re now fully executing our business plan,” Grant said, “and that means constantly getting in the face of likeminded producers to help finance, acquire and distribute their product worldwide.” Other shows produced by Silverman at Reveille — “Ugly Betty,” “The Office” and “The Tudors” — are handled internationally by other distributors: In these three cases, Disney, NBC Universal and Sony, respectively. Silverman said he’d like to see Reveille grow financially to the extent that his team could handle foreign on such ambitious fictional fare, pointing out that it’s a much more capital-intensive part of the business. Grant’s team is spearheading such an experiment on the fiction side, having recently acquired rights to the six-parter “Grand Strand,” about a rock band’s rocky road to fame.
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