Random House and Bertelsmann sister company Fremantle Media are partnering to launch a new initiative, Random House Television, that will develop TV shows based on Random House books. Random House authors will also be invited to develop original TV programming.
Fremantle produces and distributes TV shows internationally and is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest TV and radio broadcast company. It will have a first-look deal on Random House properties. Random House Television will be part of Random House Studio, the entertainment division formerly known as Random House Films.
According to the release, “Random House Television will work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted formats.”
Jeffrey Levine, formerly of Spring Creek Productions, has been hired as head of TV and will report to Random House Studio president Peter Gethers. Levine will work out of Fremantle’s Los Angeles office.
FREMANTLEMEDIA & RANDOM HOUSE FORM EXCLUSIVE TELEVISION PARTNERSHIP
Newly Established Random House Television To Be Headed By Jeffrey Levine
July 25, 2012 – FremantleMedia, the producer and distributor of several of the world’s most widely-watched television series, and Random House, Inc., the U.S. division of Random House, the world’s largest trade-book publisher, both companies of Bertelsmann AG, announced today a major new creative and strategic partnership to develop scripted television programming for the U.S. and international markets based on the fiction and nonfiction books published by Random House’s imprints in North America and internationally.
The first-look deal with FremantleMedia will reside within Random House Television, a newly created part of Random House Studio, the publisher’s rebranded and expanded entertainment division led by Peter Gethers, President. Random House Television will work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted formats.
The partnership will also seek to collaborate with Random House authors to develop original scripted television properties they might create.
United Talent Agency represented Random House Studio and negotiated the first-look deal with FremantleMedia.
Jeffrey Levine has been appointed Head of Television for Random House Television, based in FremantleMedia’s Los Angeles offices, reporting to Mr. Gethers. He will work closely with Jeff Tahler, FremantleMedia Enterprises Senior Vice President of Global Content, and Tony Optican, Senior Vice President of Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America, and with the entire Random House Studio team.
Mr. Levine joins the company from Spring Creek Productions, where he worked on the development of many of the company’s features including “Blood Diamond,” “Monster-In-Law” and the now casting “This Is Where I Leave You.” Levine was an Executive Producer on HBO’s “Too Big To Fail,” which garnered 11 Emmy® nominations and won the WGA award for best adaption for Long Form. Previously Mr. Levine was Vice President, Movies and Mini-Series at Turner Broadcasting Company, where he oversaw the development of such projects as “James Dean” (Golden Globe®, Emmy®, ACE, and BFC winner), and “Mists of Avalon” (9 Emmy® nominations, WGA nominee).
Also joining the Random House Television team in Los Angeles is Christina Malach, Executive Story Editor, Random House Studio. The New York team under Mr. Gethers is Valerie Cates and Claudia Herr, both Executive Story editors, and Brady Emerson, Story Editor, Random House Studio.
In announcing the partnership, David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said “This is a hugely exciting coming together of two companies in the Bertelsmann family. As one of the world’s most successful book publishers with a global roster of admired authors, Random House is the perfect partner for FremantleMedia as we continue to develop and expand our slate of world-class scripted content for international audiences. We warmly welcome Peter, Jeff and the entire Random House Television team, and look forward to working with them to develop high-quality television projects with wide appeal.”
Peter Gethers said, “Partnering with the very talented and savvy FremantleMedia team gives us a wonderful opportunity to significantly increase the many options we already offer to Random House authors around the world. This alliance will enable us to help them expand into new creative and commercial areas to broaden their audience. Random House Television is a natural extension of the partnership we already enjoy with our writers and will help them flourish in an increasingly complex, exciting, and interdependent global entertainment business. I’m thrilled to have Jeff on board with us, and with the opportunity to work with FremantleMedia in the U.S. and internationally.”
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