×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reality factory punches it up

LMNO looking to enter new media, intl. arenas

Nonfiction program supplier LMNO Prods. is restructuring its operations and upping several key execs in a bid to move beyond its network and cable roots.

The company, which produces skeins such as “Kids Say the Darndest Things” and “Guinness World Records: Primetime,” is looking to expand into new media, bulk up its international output and make better use of its ever-growing library of programs.

“We’re trying to set up the company so that as we move forward … all our eggs aren’t in one basket,” LMNO prexy and CEO Eric Schotz told Daily Variety in an interview outlining the restructuring.

Changes afoot

Among the changes at LMNO:

  • In the wake of the company’s recent first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television, Schotz is creating a special projects unit charged with developing drama skeins and telepics based on themes and people found in LMNO’s nonfiction programs and pics. Greg Czech has been tapped to head the unit.

  • Joanna Lowry has been upped to veep of marketing and new business development, overseeing the newly created LMNO new-media division. Her main task will be to find ways to leverage LMNO’s production output with opportunities on the ‘Net and in the interactive television world. She’ll also continue to helm LMNO’s marketing and PR operations.

    Cable stepped up

  • LMNO will step up its efforts to sell to cable, whose appetite for new nonfiction programming continues to expand. To that end, Schotz has tapped Kathy Williamson, a supervising producer on LMNO’s “Behind Closed Doors With Joan Lunden” specs, to serve as VP of cable production. She’ll supervise development and production of all programming for the unit.

Schotz said the changes at LMNO in no way signal the company’s intent to get out of the business of producing reality programming for network television.

Goose safe

“We don’t want to kill the golden goose,” he insisted. “We want to be in the nonfiction arena.” Instead, Schotz said he’s simply positioning LMNO to survive the cyclical nature of network primetime, where a red-hot program genre can cool overnight.

“We want to be in a place where a single client can’t ding you,” he said.

LMNO is also stepping up its sales efforts in the international market, with Schotz making several overseas trips in recent months to meet with distributors.

Rather than limiting pitch and development meetings to marketplaces like MIP, “We went to visit people on their home turf,” Schotz explained.

Up with people

As part of LMNO’s restructuring, Schotz has made several other promotions within the company: Jeff Rice has been upped to veep of post-production; Ruth Rivin, who has been named senior producer of special projects, will work with Czech to develop dramas and telepics; and Hans Fischmann has been upped to director of the new-media division, where he’ll continue to oversee the LMNO Web site and work to increase interaction with viewers of LMNO programming. Schotz also tapped Eric Martin new-media coordinator and Scott Zeitlin new-media specialist.

In addition to “Kids Say,” “Guinness” and “Behind Closed Doors,” LMNO (whose name stands for Leave My Name Off) also produces spec franchises such as “World’s Funniest Pets,” “Incredible Medical Videos” and “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”

Cable productions include Lifetime’s “New Attitudes” and “Intimate Portraits” and TLC’s “The Greatest” and “Toughest People on Earth.”

More TV

  • Leslie MoonvesCBS Upfront Presentation, New York,

    Cybill Shepherd Alleges Leslie Moonves Made Romantic Advances

    Actress Cybill Shepherd, who once starred in the CBS sitcom “Cybill” alleged in a recent interview that former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves propositioned her while they were dining at a restaurant. “His assistant and my assistant made a dinner date and we went to it and he was, well he was telling me his wife [...]

  • NARCOS MEXICO

    Diego Luna, Scoot McNairy to Return for 'Narcos: Mexico' Season 2

    Both Diego Luna and Scott McNairy are set to star in “Narcos: Mexico” Season 2, reprising their roles from Season 1. Production recently began on the second season of the series, which is the fifth season total of the “Narcos” franchise. Luna was recently honored with a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for best actor in a [...]

  • Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift in concert at

    Taylor Swift 'Reputation' Concert Film to Hit Netflix on New Year’s Eve

    Taylor Swift today announced that she is “gifting the world front row seats to the last show of the U.S. leg” of her “Reputation” tour with a concert film that will premiere on Netflix New Year’s Eve. “This epic concert film features pyro, fireworks, multiple stages and of course, a 63 foot cobra named Karyn,” [...]

  • New TV Adaptation of Kids' Classic

    New TV Adaptation of Kids' Classic 'The Velveteen Rabbit' in the Works (EXCLUSIVE)

    The writer of upcoming BBC and Netflix series “Watership Down” and the producers behind hit animated specials including “The Gruffalo” are adapting the classic children’s tale “The Velveteen Rabbit” for TV. Magic Light Pictures and Tom Bidwell are in development on the project and already talking to broadcasters. For U.K.-based Magic Light, it will mark [...]

  • Smithsonian subscription VOD

    Smithsonian Networks Launches New Subscription VOD Service, Folding in Smithsonian Earth

    Smithsonian Networks has expanded its push to reach cord-cutters with the launch of Smithsonian Channel Plus, promising subscribers 1,000-plus hours of streaming nonfiction programming for $5 per month. The new subscription VOD service incorporates and supersedes Smithsonian Earth, the company’s $3.99-monthly SVOD service that launched three years ago, which had been geared around nature and wildlife. [...]

  • 'My Brilliant Friend' Scores Brilliant Ratings

    'My Brilliant Friend' Scores Brilliant Ratings at Home

    With its international rollout well underway, the critically acclaimed TV series “My Brilliant Friend,” based on the first of Italian author Elena Ferrante’s bestselling “Neapolitan Novels,” is scoring strong ratings at home in Italy, and is also playing well in the U.S. and U.K. The show, which explores the bounds of female friendship, is being [...]

  • Himesh Patel, Ewen Leslie Join BBC

    Himesh Patel, Ewen Leslie Join BBC Adaptation of Man Booker Prize Winner ‘The Luminaries’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie have joined “The Luminaries,” with production now underway on the highly anticipated series adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel. The pair join Eve Hewson (“The Knick”), Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”) and Marton Csokas (“Into the Badlands”) in the period piece. The high-end drama is being produced by Working [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content