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Lionsgate, Roy Bank in unscripted pact

Overall deal to yield new ABC game show

Lionsgate is plunging deeper into unscripted TV, announcing an overall deal Tuesday with Roy Bank, former president of television at Merv Griffin Entertainment.

The studio will both enter a joint venture with Bank’s own shingle, Banca Studio, and acquire from MGE the production and development slate he was on while still with that company.

One project that will come over to Lionsgate as a result is a new ABC gameshow, “Million Dollar Mind Game,” which will premiere Oct. 23 in an afternoon timeslot.

Among the other unscripted series that come over from Banca are NBC summer gameshow “It’s Worth What?” and Bloomberg Television’s “The Mentor.”

Before joining MGE in 2008, Bank served as head of production at Mark Burnett Prods., where his credits include “The Apprentice” and “Rockstar: INXS.”

“Roy embodies the kind of expertise and entrepreneurial spirit we prize so highly,” said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate TV. “He has had impressive success as an innovative producer and industry executive, and we look forward to an exciting collaboration.”

Lionsgate signaled its intent to do more unscripted programming last year. In March, the studio inked Eli Frankel, senior VP development at Magical Elves, to a two-year overall deal with its TV division. Frankel helped shepherd reality hits including “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,”

Brian Veskosky will join Banca as executive VP. Mark Itkin and WME were instrumental in putting the deal together.

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