Giant swallows Optomen, One Potato Two Potato
LONDON — U.K.-based production and distribution giant All3Media has finalized the purchase of shingle Optomen and its joint venture with TV chef Gordon Ramsay, One Potato Two Potato.One Potato Two Potato produces a number of Ramsay’s skeins, including the U.S. version of “MasterChef” in partnership with Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine. Optomen co-produces Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” with ITV Studios America. The £40 million ($62 million) deal also includes New York-based Optomen Prods., which has produced programming for the U.S. nets, including “Worst Cooks in America” and “Monsters Inside Me.” “Twenty years of working in kitchens has taught me that success is always a team effort,” Ramsay said, “and with the help of the team at All3Media I’m confident we can take things to the next level and soon reach three potato, four potato and more.” Optomen’s current crop of U.K. shows include “Mary Queen of Shops,” a reality skein in which retail expert Mary Portas goes to the rescue of independent stores, and “Heston’s Feast,” in which chef Heston Blumenthal recreates famous feasts from past centuries. All3Media owns production companies in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. These include Zoo, which produces “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” with Mark Burnett, Studio Lambert (“Undercover Boss”), Lion Television (“Cash Cab”), Maverick Television (“How to Look Good Naked”) and Company Pictures (“Generation Kill”).