Company wins contract to make reality series
The U.S. arm of British shingle Shed Media has won the contract to produce Jerry Seinfeld’s NBC upcoming reality skein “The Marriage Ref.”The shingle will make six one-hour episodes of the show, which the Peacock greenlit earlier this year. Nonscripted series is set to air on Sundays next spring. Shed, which generates 30% of its profits from the U.S. thanks to shows like “Supernanny,” triumphed in a competitive tender involving both U.S. and U.K. producers. The shingle clinched the deal due to a relationship between Shed U.S. exec VP Jennifer O’Connell, formerly of NBC, and Ellen Rakieten, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” exec producer and Seinfeld’s co-exec producer on “The Marriage Ref.” It helps that Shed had already sold a U.S. version of celebrity genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” to NBC. Shed Media U.S. prexy Nick Emmerson said, “A big part of ‘The Marriage Ref’ is casting real couples, and ‘Supernanny,’ which is our calling card, proves we can do that.” Shed Media made its name in the U.K. with drama skein “Footballer’s Wives,” which aired Stateside on BBC America. It moved into reality formats following the purchase of Ricochet, makers of “Supernanny.” It has high ambitions for its U.S. biz. CEO Nick Southgate said: “There are 53 U.S. channels we can sell to with budgets broadly similar to or more than their U.K. counterparts. The market is bigger and the opportunities are bigger.” Seinfeld, who devised “The Marriage Ref” and is the exec producer, described it as “a comedy show, not a therapy show.” “After nine years of marriage, I have discovered that the comedic potential of this subject is quite rich,” he said.