LONDON — Endemol is beefing up its scripted programming in Russia with the acquisition of a controlling stake in local shingle WeiT Media for an undisclosed sum.
The “Big Brother” producer has previously made only one scripted show in Russia, but the relationship with WeiT, founded in August by producer Timur Weinstein, will see a significant boost to this part of the global production giant’s activities.
WeiT will produce Endemol’s scripted and entertainment formats in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Endemol Moscow will continue to operate separately and expand Participation TV, Astrology TV and other interactive business from Russia into the Commonwealth of Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe.
This year WeiT has been commissioned to produce 16 locally scripted projects.
These include sitcoms, a sketch show, soaps and a documentary series for Russian broadcasters, plus two features and a full-length animated movie.