Talkback Thames, UFA set TV projects
FremantleMedia is beefing up production between subsidiaries Talkback Thames in the U.K. and Germany’s UFA, with a number of TV projects in the works and a new joint production shingle.The pair joined forces in 2008 when they teamed the London detectives of commercial broadcaster ITV’s hit skein “The Bill” and the Kommissars of pubcaster ZDF’s “Soko Leipzig” for a special double-ep story arc. That led to UFA and Talkback Thames’ joint development and production unit, the Berlin Office. Set up by Fremantle’s COO Gary Carter, UFA topper Norbert Sauer and Talkback managing director Lorraine Heggessey, the Berlin Office will develop series for the U.K. and Germany. Talkback’s Jonathan Young and UFA’s Joerg Winger are managing the Berlin Office. Among upcoming productions is “The Hub,” an international crime skein set in Berlin and London. It is also ramping up “The Olympics,” about the 1936 Berlin games that will hit the smallscreen in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. Two-part docu-drama will follow U.S. track star Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals, to the irritation of German leader Adoph Hitler.