“This now gives us full access to formats from 39 production companies from all over Europe,” Mansfield said of his company’s new corporate parent. “This is more than a rebranding exercise, it’s potentially a big change for our business in North America.”
Paris-based Zodiak acquired RDF Media Group this June in a deal worth around $220 million. Pact instantly made Zodiak a global player, behind leaders FremantleMedia and Endemol, and instantly gave Zodiak a foothold in the lucrative U.S. marketplace.
Zodiak’s companies can be found in more than 20 markets, such as the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Russia, Asia, South America and Northern Europe.
Mansfield said he’s currently combing Zodiak’s extensive format library to find titles that might make a good fit for U.S. broadcast and cable outlets.
“There’s an opportunity here to expand significantly in both the scripted and non-scripted area,” he said.
RDF was mostly known for its unscripted series, such as “Secret Millionaire,” which originally ran on Fox but returns this fall on ABC. But the shingle, which bows Syfy’s U.S. adaptation of “Being Human” this January, is looking to expand its scripted output as well.
“We’re determined to get into scripted in the States,” Mansfield said. “A lot of the stuff in the Zodiak library is scripted.”
Zodiak USA will also continue to develop new formats internally — and will look toward its sister shingles to test some of those projects abroad first. Those formats will be distributed internationally by Zodiak Rights.
“You always develop more shows than you can sell in this marketplace,” he said. “We’re pushing some of the formats we’re developing into other territories first. If we can’t sell something in the States, maybe we’ll go to the U.K., France, Italy or Greece first. The potential to get your shows made increases dramatically.”
Mansfield’s entire team remains at the renamed company. That includes chief creative officer Natalka Znak, who also just joined the team, as well as Claire O’Donohoe, exec VP of current, and Mike Duffy, exec VP of development.
Zodiak USA’s other programs include “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “Hardcore Pawn.”
Rebrand comes as Zodiak USA’s parent company also rebrands, to Zodiak Media Group, under CEO David Frank. New name is timed to next month’s Mipcom confab.