Fremantle is expanding its footprint in Italy by setting up a new development and production company focused on high-end scripted content and headed by Lorenzo Mieli, the producer of such shows as “The New Pope” and “My Brilliant Friend.” The new company, called The Apartment, will sit alongside two other Fremantle units in a reconfiguration of its Italian operations.
Mieli (pictured) a co-founder of Wildside, will become CEO of The Apartment in January. The company aims to “position itself on the market as an incubator of major projects” for the international market, Fremantle said.
The Apartment is being set up to develop projects of the same caliber as the four Wildside shows that Mieli is currently producing for HBO: Paolo Sorrentino’s “The New Pope,” Saverio Costanzo’s “My Brilliant Friend – The Story of a New Name,” Luca Guadagnino’s “We Are Who We Are,” and another HBO series in development that is being kept under wraps. Those shows will now go out under The Apartment label.
Mieli has increasingly focused on finding IPs and packaging international projects since Fremantle’s 2015 acquisition of a controlling stake in Wildside, which has grown into Italy’s top scripted-content producer. Fremantle now fully owns the shingle. On the film side, Mieli is lead-producing Sorrentino’s upcoming U.S. movie “Mob Girl,” starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Wildside co-founder Mario Gianani, who also produced the above-mentioned shows, will become sole CEO of the company, for which there are plans to expand “through new investments in talents and IP,” Fremantle said. Currently in Wildside’s pipeline is “Anna,” a post-apocalyptic series for Sky Italia directed by Niccolò Ammaniti (“The Miracle”) which is shooting.
Wildside will be in charge of physical production of all TV series and movies produced by Fremantle units in Italy.
Alongside The Apartment and Wildside will be a third, separately run unit, Fremantle Italia, which is headed by CEO Gabriele Immirzi. The unit will focus on production in Italy of Fremantle formats such as “X Factor” and “Got Talent,” and also its soaps, documentaries, and talk and reality shows. Mieli will retain his title as Fremantle Italia president.
Fremantle COO Andrea Scrosati said that Italy has become “one of the most relevant Fremantle territories” because of its “outstanding creative output” and “business success.”
“These results have been achieved mainly thanks to the extraordinary work carried out by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, who have in these years created incredibly successful global case histories in TV dramas, movies and entertainment shows,” Scrosati said.