CAMBRIDGE, England — Production and distribution giant FremantleMedia has taken a 25% stake in Naked Entertainment, the newly formed production company from producer Simon Andreae, who was most recently executive VP, alternative entertainment, at Fox Broadcasting in the U.S.
Based in London, Naked will develop original entertainment, factual, and factual entertainment formats, with series and one-off specials. The deal further strengthens FremantleMedia’s content pipeline for the global distribution market.
Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia, said: “We are actively looking for the right companies and talent to expand and strengthen our business. Simon is one of the industry’s pre-eminent factual entertainment producers with a long history of delivering hits with global appeal. He already has a strong development slate and I’m really pleased to be partnering with him to bring his projects to audiences around the world.”
Andreae commented: “I’m excited to be back in the U.K. and delighted to be partnering with FremantleMedia, whose depth of experience and breadth of reach in entertainment programming is unrivalled. Naked, as the name suggests, aims to be provocative and risk-taking — but also kind of simple and straightforward — producing content designed to attract, surprise, and I hope delight audiences both in the U.K. and overseas.”
At Fox, Andreae oversaw all Fox’s unscripted series and specials, including “MasterChef,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “World’s Funniest Fails,” “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” and “Hilary Swank’s Cause for Paws.”
Prior to Fox, he was senior VP, development and production, for Discovery, where he developed ratings hits “Naked and Afraid” and “Fast N Loud,” as well as supervised the “Curiosity” series hosted by Stephen Hawking, Donald Trump, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others. He first moved to the U.S. in 2005 when he set up independent production company, The Incubator, which made non-fiction shows for broadcasters including Spike, USA, Vh1, Discovery, History, Channel 4 and TLC, amongst them “My Shocking Story” and the Emmy-nominated “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman,” now in its seventh season.
Before moving to the U.S., Andreae was head of science and education at Channel 4, where he commissioned some of the channel’s most popular and innovative programming, including “The Autopsy,” “Anatomy for Beginners” and hit series “BodyShock,” as well as supervising the perennially popular “Scrapheap Challenge” and “Time Team.”
Andreae was a founding partner of U.K. indie Optomen Television, helping grow it into one of the U.K.’s largest non-scripted production companies with a broad mix of programming including “Police, Camera, Action!,” “The Naked Chef,” “Anatomy of Desire” and “Gore Vidal’s American Presidency.”