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Cowell’s Syco goes Over The Top

Company will focus on niche TV shows

LONDON — Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment has launched a new shingle, Over The Top Productions, which will focus on the development of niche TV productions.

The London-based company will be a joint venture with Nigel Hall, Syco’s global head of television. Hall is in advanced talks with broadcasters regarding new formats, he said, and is looking to recruit a development team.

Charles Garland, global chief executive of Syco, said: “This is an exciting next step for Syco Entertainment in our expansion plans and reflects our commitment to fostering creativity.

“Specifically, Over The Top provides us with another development pipeline which, under Nigel’s direction alongside his role as global head of TV for Syco Entertainment, I hope will see a wide and varied portfolio of formats coming to market.”

Syco said it would “continue to expand through new ventures and make new key appointments” in both the U.K. and the U.S. this year.

Syco, which is a joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, also owns TV production company Simco. The shingle, which produces formats including “The X Factor,” the “Got Talent” franchise and gameshow “Red or Black?,” recently reported that pre-tax profits rose 138% to £32.6 million ($52.6 million) in the 12 months to March 31, 2012. Revenue almost doubled to £54.6 million ($88.1 million).

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