Endemol founder returns to tube

Ende plans to play matchmaker with talent, studio execs

AMSTERDAM — Endemol co-founder Joop Van den Ende will return to television when his non-compete clause with Spanish media outfit Telefonica ends in January. Van den Ende, sole owner of the rapidly expanding pan-continental live entertainment outfit Stage Holding, told Daily Variety that he would “invest in and back upcoming producers and production projects” rather than start his own production company.

He said he had consulted on TV projects in the four years since selling Endemol to Telefonica. “I like it very much and I want to do more, to act as a sort of talent scout or matchmaker between talented people and companies.”

Among the genres Van den Ende is interested in is drama, “not soaps or high-end weekly TV movie productions but good quality drama, including comedy drama.”

He said he had no interest in reality programming, which has made his former company Endemol famous across the globe.

Van den Ende was speaking at the gala premiere of a documentary series on Dutch legit history, “All Theatre,” on Monday.

The series was 90% funded by the Van den Ende Foundation, which backs theatrical and film projects, including Oscar nommed “Twin Sisters.” This, its second TV project, was produced by idtv-Dits.

He said he wanted to do the doc after learning that one of Holland’s greatest stage thesps, Paul Steenbergen, had died in hospital a decade ago and even his nursing staff didn’t know who he was.

“We do not have a star culture in this country. Soap stars are better known than our theatrical talent and I would like to see that change.”

Actor-director Jeroen Krabbe, who narrates and conducts interviews in the doc series, said he had worked on the project for more than two years.

“Joop asked me to help because while theater was my first love I have been outside the theatrical community for some time and my experience in film has given me a certain objectivity,” he added.

The 12-part series began airing Monday on Dutch public TV.

Krabbe will return to the stage for the first time in 20 years next year to play Salieri in “Amadeus.” His next pic is “Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo,” and he recently put in a cameo in “Ocean’s Twelve.”