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Former ABC Reality Chief John Saade Forges Pact With Red Arrow Studios and Kinetic Content

Red Arrow Studios and Kinetic Content have announced an exclusive agreement with former ABC alternative and late-night programming chief John Saade and his new production company Spinnaker Chaos.

Saade spent over a decade at ABC, overseeing hit formats such as “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Bachelor,” “Wipeout” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” before leaving the Walt Disney network in 2013.

Backed by Red Arrow Studios — which is the new name for Red Arrow Entertainment Group — Spinnaker Chaos will be housed at Los Angeles-based Kinetic Content, where Saade will work exclusively with Kinetic CEO Chris Coelen, as well as Co-Heads of Development Karrie Wolfe and Katie Griffin, and Executive Producer in charge of programming Eric Detwiler.

The new venture will focus on developing broad-based entertainment formats, as well as prestige projects based on history, science and technology, according to a statement. They have already set up several projects at both cable and broadcast networks.

The move marks a return to hands-on production for Saade, who produced the U.S. version of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here” for ABC.

Saade and Spinnaker Chaos will collaborate closely with Michael Schmidt, Chief Creative Officer of Red Arrow Studios, and its creative team on global format development and international production rollouts. All projects generated by the joint venture will be produced by Kinetic Content in association with Spinnaker Chaos. Red Arrow Studios International will handle worldwide format distribution.

German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE last December merged distributor-producer Red Arrow Entertainment Group and multichannel network Studio71 under the new Red Arrow Studios unit.

“From the first time I met John, I have been continually impressed and surprised by his passion for and knowledge about television, and his ability to make discussions about the most granular details of a show an enjoyable creative experience,” said Michael Schmidt, Chief Creative Officer of Red Arrow Studios, in a statement.

Kinetic Content CEO Chris Coelen noted that he and Saade worked together for a long time, on shows such as “Wife Swap,” “Secret Millionaire” and “The Taste.” “I respect his experience and long-running track record of success, but even more importantly I admire his honesty, intelligence and collaborative approach,” he said. “We’re very fortunate that he has decided to set up shop full-time with us now that he’s back from a very well-deserved sabbatical.”

Saade called Coelen “one of my favorite people to work with – creative and calm, with extremely strong business acumen.”  “I’m thrilled to collaborate with him, Katie, Karrie and the rest of the Kinetic Team, along with Michael Schmidt and Red Arrow Studios. Together they’ve created a thriving, exciting environment, and the fit feels perfect,” he said.

Saade will bring with him Amy Graves, who was previously Manager of Development at Core Media Group. Kinetic in the statement underlined that this is their second big development move this year, after hiring Paul Lima to serve as VP of Development.

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