Endemol, RTL ink TV deal

Will produce nine episodes of new drama 'John Sinclair'

AMSTERDAM — Endemol Entertainment has inked a 15 million guilder ($7.53 million) deal with RTL Television in Germany to produce nine episodes of the new “John Sinclair” drama series.

The signing with Endemol’s Cologne branch puts an end once and for all to suggestions made last year that the cozy production relationship between RLT and Endemol is in any way cooling off. It also signals a strategic shift for Endemol into high-budget drama in Germany.

Last year at this time Endemol stock began a downward spiral after the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the Hilversum based company’s three-year contract with RTL was in danger of not being renewed.

Endemol’s German operations are responsible for a quarter of the Dutch company’s revenues, and RTL, as the dominant channel in Germany, figures largely in this picture.

Until now Endemol has been mainly regarded as a producer of entertainment and variety shows. The contract for “John Sinclair” marks “a strategically important move for us into high budget TV movies,” Endemol spokesman Thomas Notermans told Daily Variety.

“John Sinclair” is the story of a Scotland Yard inspector who specializes in hunting ghosts and demons. It is to be produced by Dutch TV producer John Van de Rest, who has also produced more than 100 episodes of “The Watch,” a format of ITV’s “The Bill.”