Fremantle (company)

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Fremantle Limited
FormerlyFremantle International (1952–1995), 2018–present for Fremantle's current international division
FremantleMedia (2001–2018)
Founded1952; 70 years ago (1952)[1]
Area served
Key people
Jennifer Mullin (CEO)
ParentRTL Group
SubsidiariesSee full list of labels

Fremantle (/ˈfrmæntəl/, formerly FremantleMedia until September 2018) is a British multinational television production and distribution company based in London. The original Fremantle was founded in 1952 as Fremantle International, and was independent until 1995. The former company was renamed FremantleMedia on 20 August 2001, following the 2000 merger of Pearson Television and Bertelsmann's CLT-UFA to form the RTL Group. Since 1995, Fremantle has distributed American game shows in the United States and internationally.


Fremantle International (1952–2001)[edit]

Fremantle International logo used from 1981 to 1991.

The first incarnation of Fremantle, known as Fremantle International was founded in 1952, and was involved in the production of television series, movies, and specials from 1964 to 1994. When it was founded, Fremantle was independent, until being acquired by All American Television in 1995, and became a subsidiary of that company. In 1996, Pearson Television was launched by Pearson plc as their television division, which was involved in game show distribution and operated until 2001. In 1998, when All American closed down, Fremantle was renamed All American Fremantle, and operated under that name until being renamed in 2001.

FremantleMedia (2001–2018)[edit]

FremantleMedia logo from 20 August 2001 to 7 September 2018.

In 2000, German conglomerate Bertelsmann announced that it would form a joint venture between its CLT-UFA group (itself a merger of Luxembourg's CLT and German studio UFA GmbH) with Pearson Television (whose library included former British ITV franchise Thames Television, All American Television—who owned the libraries of Lexington Broadcast Services and game show producers Mark Goodson Productions and Fremantle International, and Australia's Reg Grundy Organisation) to create a multinational media group and content business—eventually known as RTL Group—to consolidate their broadcasting and production activities,[2][3] and provide a European competitor to American-owned media conglomerates.[4] The content business would be renamed FremantleMedia in 2001,[3] while Bertelsmann would later increase its stake in RTL Group to achieve majority ownership.[5][6] In January 2018, FremantleMedia sold its Kids & Family Entertainment division to Boat Rocker Media.[7] In July 2018, FrementleMedia North America CEO Jennifer Mullin was named the new CEO of the worldwide company, replacing the outgoing Cecile Frot-Coutaz.[8]

Fremantle (2018–present)[edit]

In September 2018, the company rebranded as "Fremantle", introducing a new handwritten logo. Although it no longer uses the FremantleMedia brand name, it is still used as the legal name for Fremantle, as seen in their shows' closing credits.[9] On 13 July 2020, Fremantle spun off Storyglass into an independent company within Bertelsmann.[10] On 9 September, Fremantle merged Boundless and Naked Entertainment to form Naked Television.[11]


Fremantle is known for its ownership of a number of non-scripted formats, including the talent competitions Idols, Got Talent, and The X Factor (the latter two with Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment), and game shows via its ownership of the libraries of U.S. producer Goodson-Todman Productions, Australian producer Reg Grundy, and others, which includes formats such as Family Feud, The Price is Right, and Sale of the Century among others.

Via the Reg Grundy library, Fremantle Australia owns a number of notable Australian dramas and soap operas, including the long-running Neighbours and Prisoner.[12]

In the mid-2010s, Fremantle began to increasingly pursue a strategy of producing "high-end" scripted dramas to diversify its output, including American Gods, Beecham House, Charité, Deutschland 83, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Rain, The Young Pope and The Mosquito Coast . The strategy proved successful for the company, with international dramas having accounted for increasing portions of Fremantle's overall revenue.[12][13][14]

Production offices and labels[edit]

Fremantle North America headquarters at the Pointe office building in Burbank

Fremantle has production units across its global offices and network of production companies and labels on the ground in over 26 territories.

In the United States, Fremantle's largest production and distribution division, Fremantle North America is based in Burbank, California, and includes a portfolio of companies. Fremantle North America produces and distributes scripted and alternative programs for broadcast and cable networks, syndication, and streaming platforms.

In addition, Fremantle North America 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.

Here are all of the production and/or distribution labels from Fremantle:

Region/Country Unit(s)
United Kingdom Primary labels
Secondary labels
  • Full Fat TV
  • Man Alive Entertainment
  • Dr Pluto Films (joint venture with James Abadi and Sam Pollard)[20]
  • Wild Blue Media
  • Dancing Ledge Productions (25% stake[21])
  • Label1
Germany UFA GmbH
  • UFA Fiction
  • UFA Serial Drama
  • UFA Show & Factual
  • UFA Documentary[22]
  • En Cero Coma Producciones[26]
  • Moskito Television
  • Grillifilms
  • Production House
North America
Middle East
  • Abot Hameiri Communication Ltd. (Israel)


  1. ^ Adam Dawtrey (20 August 2001). "Pearson TV placed on Fremantle". Variety. London.[failed verification] search result at Variety: Pearson TV placed on Fremantle. Adam Dawtrey. Aug 20, 2001 ARTICLE. LONDON -- Pearson Television has been renamed FremantleMedia. Move follows last year's merger of Pearson TV with CLT/Ufa to create RTL Group and reflects the fact that Pearson TV is no longer part of British media group Pearson (search result in September-2020)
  2. ^ Andreas Uhlig (8 April 2000). "Gründung eines europäischen Fernsehgiganten Kooperation von Bertelsmann und Pearson". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). p. 25.
  3. ^ a b Jason Deans (21 August 2001). "Pearson TV revives Thames TV brand". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  4. ^ Gunhild Freese (13 April 2000). "Die europäische Antwort". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  5. ^ Roland Mayrl (6 February 2001). "RTL sendet mehrheitlich für Bertelsmann". Wirtschaftsblatt (in German). p. 1.
  6. ^ "Bertelsmann sichert sich die Vorherrschaft im TV-Geschäft". Handelsblatt (in German). 6 February 2001. p. 25.
  7. ^ White, Peter (25 January 2018). "FremantleMedia Moves Out Of Kids Content, Sells Unit To Canada's Boat Rocker". Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  8. ^ Stewart Clarke (26 July 2018). "FremantleMedia Names Jennifer Mullin New CEO". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  9. ^ Stewart Clarke (7 September 2018). "FremantleMedia Rebrands as Fremantle, With Jennifer Mullin Newly at the Helm". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  10. ^ Jake Kanter (13 July 2020). "Fremantle Podcast Label Storyglass Spun Out Into Standalone Company Within Bertelsmann Group". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b Tom Grater (9 September 2020). "Fremantle Merges UK Factual Labels". Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  12. ^ a b "FremantleMedia eyes French drama push". TBI Vision. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  13. ^ White, Peter (7 March 2018). "FremantleMedia's High-End Drama Push Helps Bolster Parent Group RTL". Deadline. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  14. ^ White, Peter (29 August 2018). "Drama Push Helps 'American Gods' Producer FremantleMedia's Bottom Line As It Seeks Funding For 35 Projects". Deadline. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Q&A: Euston Films' Kate Harwood". Drama Quarterly. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  16. ^ "BBC Studios exec arrives at Euston". C21media. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Growing drama slate". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  18. ^ Stephen Chapman (7 June 2019). "Fremantle seeks "creatively brave" dramas with Castlefield launch". Prolific North. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  19. ^ Jake Kanter (26 February 2020). "Simon Andreae To Run Fremantle In The UK After Group Takes Full Control Of Naked Television". Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Dr Pluto Films".
  21. ^ "Home | Dancing Ledge Productions". Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  23. ^ David de Jong (30 October 2019). "Fremantle neemt No Pictures Please volledig over en begint nieuw label" [Fremantle to acquire full ownership of No Pictures Please]. Nederlands MediaNieuws. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  24. ^ a b Nick Vivarelli (20 January 2020). "Sky Italia's Vision Distribution to Launch Film Sales Company at Berlin's EFM". Variety. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  25. ^ SemiColonWeb. "FormatBiz - 'Italian and WorldWide Format TV News' | Canale5 quiz Chi Vuol Essere Milionario? won pt slot with 3m (14.4%)". Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  26. ^ John Hopewell (18 November 2021). "Fremantle Spain Taps Fernando Jerez to Create New Factual and Doc Label En Cero Coma Producciones". Variety.
  27. ^ Lieberman, David (18 July 2016). "FremantleMedia Buys Random House Studio With New TV-Movie Alliance". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  28. ^ Veronica Villafañe (31 October 2019). "Fremantle Expands Into Latino Market, Buys Stake In Production Company The Immigrant". Forbes. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Fremantle, BRON take stake in the Immigrant | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News".

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