New World Entertainment announced completion of its agreement to acquire “certain producers, personnel and programs” of Reeves Entertainment — although Reeves prez Richard S. Reisberg and exec VP Rob Kenneally won’t be among them, with both leaving to pursue other opportunities.
Reisberg, president-chief operating officer at Reeves since 1985, had tried earlier to orchestrate a management buyout and will now pursue his own ventures while acting as a consultant to both New World and MCEG Sterling administrations.
MCEG took over Reeves from U.K.-based parent Thames TV, which had to shed the U.S. production outfit as a condition of its sale to Pearson PLC.
Announced in principle two months ago, the agreement doesn’t cover several shows in the Reeves library — such as “That’s Incredible,””Kate & Allie” and “Gimme a Break”– already tied up under pre-existing distribution agreements.
The parties didn’t specify which Reeves employees would go to New World, but sources say Karla Vinson and Ted Zachary — VP of longform programming and senior VP of production, respectively — will be among the execs to survive the deal.
Kenneally, a former Fox Broadcasting Co. exec, is said to be in discussions with various parties.
Most of Reeves’ over 100 staffers work on the ABC daytime series “Home,” seen as Reeves’ most significant asset. New World also acquires Reeves’ Nickelodeon shows “What Would You Do?” and “Tomorrow People.”
The company also has overall deals with several producers, including Pam Norris, Gil Grant, Kathryn Pratt & John Eisendrath, and Martin Rips & Joseph Staretski.
Allowed to lapse
It’s unknown whether any of those pacts will be allowed to lapse, and New World officials were unavailable for comment.
MCEG retains certain properties, among them “Homicide: Life on the Street.”
NBC has ordered four additional episodes of the acclaimed drama series for last-gasp airing early next year. Another series, producer Bruce Paltrow’s CBS midseason drama “Down Home,” remains up in the air.
The formal agreement adds to the TV holdings of financier Ronald O. Perelman, whose McAndrews & Forbes Group owns New World. Perelman acquired 50% of Genesis Entertainment in May through Four Star Intl., providing a domestic toehold that complements New World’s overseas presence and creates a need for programming to feed both distribution arms.