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FremantleMedia Ltd.
Industry Television production
Founded September 2001 (2001-09)
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
(chief executive)
Wolf Bauer
(chief executive officer,
UFA Film and TV Production)
Sangeeta Desai
(chief operating officer)
Thom Beers
(chief executive officer, FremantleMedia North America)
Products Television
Owner RTL Group

FremantleMedia is a British international television content and production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, Europe's largest TV, radio, and production company. Its world headquarters are located in London.

The company acquired various British, Australian, and American production companies including Talkback, Thames Television (the last two later merged as Talkback Thames), Reg Grundy Organisation, Crackerjack Productions (now merged to become FremantleMedia Australia), and Goodson-Todman Productions (later Mark Goodson Productions). Early on, it merged with Germany's largest television production company, UFA.

Production and rights holdings[edit]

The company holds the rights to shows such as Let's Make a Deal and Press Your Luck. Fremantle also produced Temptation and an interactive gameshow Quizmania for ITV Play.

In addition, they also own (along with Columbia Pictures) the rights to most of the post 1948 Bob Hope film catalog that includes The Seven Little Foys, The Lemon Drop Kid, and Son of Paleface. They were also the distributors of the television series Baywatch.

In-house productions include Pop Idol and its related spin-offs (including American Idol), and three carryover productions from Mark Goodson Productions: the current versions of The Price is Right, and Family Feud, and the 2002 revival of Beat the Clock (for Pax TV). Currently, they hold rights (under license from Fuji Television) to the game Brain Wall, more commonly known as Hole in the Wall in over 20 countries.

FremantleMedia has also licensed rights to international formats including The Apprentice (with creator Mark Burnett for BBC One), The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (on Oxygen in the United States), the Simon Cowell-produced series The X Factor (in the UK), and America's Got Talent for NBC, the long running Australian serials Neighbours and Prisoner, Distraction (on Comedy Central), and Gameshow Marathon (on CBS). In other countries, they own the franchise rights to Betty La Fea in Germany (Verliebt in Berlin), Spain (Yo Soy Bea), the Netherlands (Lotte), Sara in Belgium, and Maria I Asximi in Greece. FremantleMedia also holds international distribution rights to the Three's Company franchise, which all shows are based off Thames' Man About the House and its spin-offs.

FremantleMedia's library also includes the 2001 CBS telefilm The Christmas Shoes (inspired by the NewSong #1 hit), and its 2005 sequel, The Christmas Blessing. (The song is the property of Bertelsmann AG, which is the majority owner in RTL Group.)

The company also owns the back catalog of the American TV production company Reeves Entertainment, which was acquired by Thames in 1990. Additionally, FremantleMedia bought the rights to all former programming of the now defunct UK broadcasting strand Thames Television from Pearson International in 2002, meaning they also hold rights to a variety of shows from the Thames archives including popular children's shows from the 1970s and 1980s such as the long running The Sooty Show and Rainbow.

FremantleMedia bought a controlling share of Canadian video game development company Ludia in October 2010.[1]

On 19 November 2012, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announced a major new distribution agreement with WWE for the exclusive home entertainment rights to WWE’s catalogue of programming across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The deal goes into effect in January 2013 and will see FME manage the DVD, Blu-ray, and digital rights for all new and existing WWE content, making it the first time that fans of WWE’s popular programming can access it digitally across EMEA.

On February 1, 2013, FremantleMedia announced they will dismantle its FremantleMedia Enterprises division into two stand-alone global divisions; one for kids & family entertainment and distribution and the other for digital and branded entertainment.[2] In April 2013, FremantleMedia announced a partnership with digital network Blip to develop a new pet-related entertainment destination on Blip powered by FremantleMedia's digital programming site, The Pet Collective. The Pet Collective was Launched online in April 2012, and is a digital producer of animal-friendly content that celebrates the connection between animals and their human companions.[3]

On January 30, 2014, FremantleMedia was in negotiations to acquire rival All3Media.[4] On March 26, 2014, FremantleMedia acquired a 75% stake in 495 Productions, with an option to acquire the remaining 25% in the near future.[5]

Company structure[edit]

FremantleMedia is divided into two major divisions: Creative Networks, which comprises and co-ordinates local production operations, and FremantleMedia International, which handles distribution and licensing.

Creative Networks comprises three departments: Worldwide Entertainment, Worldwide Drama, and FMX. This network provides local production teams access to ideas, expertise and trends from around the world.

Worldwide Entertainment supports existing shows including Idols, The X Factor, The Price is Right, and Family Feud, as well as new additions such as Thank God You're Here!, America's Got Talent, Hole in the Wall, and PokerFace.

Worldwide Drama supports serial drama production in 12 territories, including long-running dramas The Bill (ITV1, UK), Neighbours (Network Ten, Australia), Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten (Good Times, Bad Times - RTL Television, Germany), Salatut elämät (Secret Lives - MTV3, Finland), Un Posto al Sole (A Place in the Sun - Rai Uno, Italy), and Barátok Közt (Between Friends - RTL Klub, Hungary).

Creative Networks' latest addition is FMX, a new division intended to reach new audiences by creating non-linear new media experiences. Its productions include Freak, PrintFriends, UrFantastic!, and Project V.

FremantleMedia International is the global distribution division which is responsible for global sales across Linear Television, Digital and Home Entertainment platforms of finished content, format sales in non-production territories as well as acquiring and developing new programmes for the international market. In addition to the world-class FremantleMedia production families around the globe, FMI works with the highest calibre creative talent, producers, channels, licensees and studios to create, finance, and distribute the best content in the business.

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is FremantleMedia’s US production & distribution division. Based in Burbank, California, FremantleMedia North America and its portfolio of companies, including Original Productions and 495 Productions, produce entertaining and innovative scripted and alternative programs for broadcast and cable networks, syndication, and digital (online & mobile) platforms.

In addition, FremantleMedia owns several other smaller production companies; among these are Thom Beers' Original Productions (responsible for creation and production of numerous reality shows such as Deadliest Catch, Ax Men, and Ice Road Truckers) and Amygdala Music, Leslie Beers' production and composition firm that writes themes, incidental, and featured music for Original Productions shows. 495 Productions has specialized in developing programs that entertain viewers while keeping them glued to their screens. 495 became known throughout the world thanks to its record breaking, Jersey Shore which premiered on MTV in December of 2009. Some of 495's other notable credits include: CMT's highest-rated series ever, Party Down South, The Ex and the Why (MTV), Jerks with Cameras (MTV), Tattoos After Dark (Oxygen) Tattoo Nightmares (Spike), Friendzone (MTV), Repo Games (Spike) Snooki & JWOWW (MTV), The Show With Vinny (MTV), The Pauly D Project (MTV), Fangasm (SyFy), Season 10 of Taboo USA (National Geographic Channel), Wedding Wars (VH1), TV Guide's #1 award-winning Nail Files, Love Handles: Couples in Crisis (Lifetime), Wedding Island (TLC), More To Love, (FOX), several seasons of HGTV's #1 rated show Design Star, The Antonio Project (HGTV), Oxygen's #1 rated show Dance Your Ass Off, The Big Party Plan-Off (Style Network), A Shot At Love (MTV), A Shot at Love: 2 (MTV), That's Amore (MTV), Tool Academy (VH1), My Big Friggin Wedding (VH1), Season 6 of NBC's Nashville Star, Tanisha Gets Married (Oxygen), and many others.

List of active subsidiaries[edit]

  • 495 Productions
  • Amygdala Music
  • Blue Circle
  • Boundless
  • FremantleMedia Australia
  • FremantleMedia Canada
  • FremantleMedia France
  • FremantleMedia Germany
  • FremantleMedia International
  • FremantleMedia Italia SpA
  • FremantleMedia Kids & Family
  • FremantleMedia Latin America
  • FremantleMedia North America
  • FremantleMedia Poland
  • FremantleMedia Sweden (formerly Blu)
  • FremantleMedia Romania
  • Ludia
  • Original Productions
  • Retort
  • Spring
  • Talkback
  • Thames
  • UFA

Reorganisation of UK brands[edit]

In November 2011, it was announced that, FremantleMedia were to reorganise the British operations from 1 January 2012. Talkback Thames brand would be split into four different labels within the newly created FremantleMedia UK production arm:

  • Boundless for factual programming.
  • Retort for scripted comedy.

List of FremantleMedia Productions[edit]


External links[edit]