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Embankment Trust (1939–1988)
Camco Industries (1988–1993)
Reg Grundy Productions (1987–2001)
All-American Television (1994–1998)
Pearson Television (1996–2001)
|Founded||20 August 2001|
|Jennifer Mullin (CEO)|
Fremantle Ltd. // (formerly FremantleMedia) is a British-based international television content, production, and distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, founded in 2001, and evolved as Europe's largest TV, radio, and production company. Its world headquarters is in London.
Fremantle creates programming across both scripted and non-scripted genres, with particular expertise in formatted entertainment and gameshows, reality and factual entertainment programming, and weekly and daily drama series as well as having growing presence in the production and distribution of high-end scripted dramas across the world. In 2019 Fremantle produced over 12,000 hours of programming.
Fremantle's distribution business (Fremantle International) licenses and sells formats and finished content throughout the world, selling over 20,000 hours of programming in more than 200 territories.
Fremantle has offices in 28 countries around the world and also has a growing number of acquired production companies to grow its footprint and expertise.
Fremantle as it stands today has been built through acquisition and growth. Many of its subsidiaries have a long history - UFA, for example, dates back to 1917 and is one of Germany’s most celebrated television and film production companies; Reg Grundy Productions, founded in 1959 by the eponymous Australian businessman; Thames Television, which was established in the UK in 1968, and Euston Films, which was created three years later; and Goodson-Todman Productions, the US powerhouse behind such legendary shows as Family Feud, Match Game, To Tell the Truth and The Price Is Right, the longest-running game show in TV history.
The merger in 2000 of CLT-UFA, which consisted of Germany's largest television production company and held a variety of European TV and radio broadcasters on the Luxembourgish side, and Pearson Television created RTL Group, Europe’s leading integrated broadcaster and content provider. Pearson Television was rebranded FremantleMedia in August 2001, while that same year Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies, became the majority shareholder of RTL Group.
In September 2018, FremantleMedia was rebranded Fremantle, and introduced a brand-new onscreen production logo that same year.
The company has the largest catalogue of game shows in the world, holding the format rights to recognisable shows including the entire Goodson-Todman library (which includes shows such as The Price Is Right, Family Feud, and Match Game) as well as shows like Let's Make a Deal, Press Your Luck, and Supermarket Sweep to name a few - all of which have a long history and a global fanbase.
Fremantle, with co-creators Syco, are behind the successful global hits of Idols, The X Factor and Got Talent franchises. Idols has 54 international formats of the show and has been on air since 2001 when it launched with American Idol which is currently showing on ABC in the USA. The X Factor has 55 adaptions worldwide and a number of spin-off shows including The X Factor Celebrity. Got Talent is now in 75 territories worldwide, including America's Got Talent for NBC, Got Talent Espana and also has a number of spin-off shows including Britain's Got Talent: The Champions.
Fremantle began its high-end scripted journey in 2014. The scripted series that the team have produced, alongside our global production partners, include Deutschland83 & Deutschland86, My Brilliant Friend, The Luminaries, Picnic at Hanging Rock, American Gods, The New Pope and The Young Pope. In 2020, Fremantle will bring The Salisbury Poisonings, The Investigation, La Jauria and We Are Who We Are to audiences globally.
Fremantle is also behind famous daily dramas (or soaps) including Neighbours, Un Posto Al Sole and Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten.
Fremantle has a sales and distribution team that are based across ten different countries, spanning all continents and reaching audiences in over 200 countries. Fremantle International work with the world’s best creative talent, they acquire, develop, finance and co-produce new formats and finished programming.
The team, led by CEO Jens Richter, distributed over 20,000 hours of content in 2019.
As well as a global distribution arm, the International team has a Home Entertainment team who hold a distribution agreement with WWE for the exclusive home entertainment rights to WWE's catalogue of programming across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
In 2018, the International team announced that it was remastering the iconic and long-running hit TV series Baywatch to High Definition. Baywatch Remastered was upscaled to 16:9 cinematic widescreen, with 350 original songs created to score the iconic Baywatch montages. The remastered version of Baywatch is fully cleared for streaming services and in 2019 it was announced that the series had been sold to over 110 territories worldwide.
Production offices and labels
Fremantle has production units across its global offices and network of production companies and labels on the ground in over 30 territories.
In the USA, Fremantle's production & distribution division, Fremantle North America is based in Burbank, California and includes a portfolio of companies. Fremantle North America produces & 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. 495 Productions has specialised in developing programs.
Here are all of the production and/or distribution labels from Fremantle:
- Euston Films (United Kingdom)
- Castlefield (United Kingdom)
- Hare and Tortoise (United Kingdom)
- Thames (United Kingdom)
- Talkback (United Kingdom)
- UFA GmbH (Germany)
- UFA Fiction
- UFA Serial Drama
- UFA Show & Factual
- Original Productions (United States)
- Amygdala Music
- 495 Productions (United States)
- Fontaram Productions (France)
- Kwaï (France)
- Fiction Valley (Netherlands)
- Blu (Denmark)
- No Pictures Please (Netherlands; 100% ownership since 1 January 2020)
- Wildside (Italy)
- The Apartment (Italy) (Created in December 2019 )
- Blue Circle (Netherlands)
- Miso Film (Denmark)
- Easy Tiger (Australia)
- Ludia (Canada) (game development)
- Abot Hameiri Communication Ltd. (Israel)
- Eureka Productions (Australia/United States)
- UMI Mobile (Canada) (mobile game development)
- Naked Television (United Kingdom; formed from merger of Boundless and Naked Entertainment)
- Full Fat TV (United Kingdom)
- Man Alive Entertainment (United Kingdom)
- Dr Pluto Films (United Kingdom) (joint venture with James Abadi and Sam Pollard)
- Wild Blue Media (United Kingdom)
- Dancing Ledge Productions (United Kingdom; 25% stake)
- Duck Soup Films (United Kingdom)
- Bend It TV (United Kingdom)
- Label1 (United Kingdom)
- The Immigrant (United States/Spain/Latin America; with Bron Media, Camila Jiménez-Villa and Silvana Aguirre; 25% stake)
- Wavy (Italy)
- Random House Studio (United States)
- Random House Films
- Random House Television
- Buzzr (Digital broadcast television network, United States)
List of Fremantle productions
- 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)
- White, Peter (25 January 2018). "FremantleMedia Moves Out Of Kids Content, Sells Unit To Canada's Boat Rocker". Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Jake Kanter (13 July 2020). "Fremantle Podcast Label Storyglass Spun Out Into Standalone Company Within Bertelsmann Group". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- Tom Grater (9 September 2020). "Fremantle Merges UK Factual Labels". deadline.com. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- "Q&A: Euston Films' Kate Harwood". Drama Quarterly. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "BBC Studios exec arrives at Euston". C21media. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "Growing drama slate". www.rtlgroup.com. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Stephen Chapman (7 June 2019). "Fremantle seeks "creatively brave" dramas with Castlefield launch". Prolific North. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
- 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.
- Nick Vivarelli (20 January 2020). "Sky Italia's Vision Distribution to Launch Film Sales Company at Berlin's EFM". Variety. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- Jake Kanter (26 February 2020). "Simon Andreae To Run Fremantle In The UK After Group Takes Full Control Of Naked Television". deadline.com. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "Home | Dancing Ledge Productions". Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- Veronica Villafañe (31 October 2019). "Fremantle Expands Into Latino Market, Buys Stake In Production Company The Immigrant". Forbes. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
- SemiColonWeb. "FormatBiz - 'Italian and WorldWide Format TV News' | Canale5 quiz Chi Vuol Essere Milionario? won pt slot with 3m (14.4%)". www.formatbiz.it. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Lieberman, David (18 July 2016). "FremantleMedia Buys Random House Studio With New TV-Movie Alliance". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 4 August 2016.