Companies pact for series distribution

FremantleMedia, the worldwide distributor of such series as “American Idol” in various formats, “The Apprentice: Donald Trump” and “Project Runway,” has signed a first-look development deal with Radical Media.

Radical has refined a strategy of incorporating advertiser brands into the content of TV shows. Company’s active roster includes “The Gamekillers,” an MTV series scheduled for the fall about relationships produced with Unilever’s Axe deodorant and its BBH ad agency; and “Fast Cars & Superstars: Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race,” a reality series scheduled for primetime on ABC tied in to NASCAR and co-produced by Michael Davies and the ad agency BBDO.

Bob Friedman, Radical’s president of media and entertainment, said Fremantle has created a fund to create programming “in all genres, both reality and scripted,” encouraging advertisers and their agencies to come aboard.

“One of my goals is to put the advertiser’s brand into the DNA of TV programming and content,” Friedman said. “And now we can draw on Fremantle as our international-distribution partner as well as tap into its licensing and merchandising expertise.”

David Ellender, CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said he’ll be looking for what he calls formattable shows in his partnership with Radical, pointing out that Fremantle has seven different international versions of what in the U.S. is called “American Idol,” eight additional formats of “Project Runway” and 12 of “The Apprentice.”

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