Fremantle (company)

Last updated

Fremantle Limited
FormerlyFremantle International (1952-1995)
FremantleMedia (2001–2018)
Type Subsidiary
Founded1952;69 years ago (1952) [1]
Headquarters London,
Area served
Key people
Jennifer Mullin (CEO)
Owner Bertelsmann
Parent RTL Group
Subsidiaries See 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 August 20, 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)

Fremantle International logo used from 1981 to 1991. Fremantle International 1981.png
Fremantle International logo used from 1981 to 1991.

The first incarnation of Fremantle, known as Fremantle International was founded in 1952, involved in the production of television series, movies, and specials from 1964 to 1994. When it was founded, Fremantle was independent, until being acquired 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)

FremantleMedia logo from 20 August 2001 to 7 September 2018. Fremantle Media logo.svg
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 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)

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

Fremantle North America headquarters at the Pointe office building in Burbank 2900 W. Alameda Avenue.jpg
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 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:

United KingdomPrimary 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] )
  • Duck Soup Films
  • Bend It TV
  • Label1
North America
Germany UFA GmbH
  • UFA Fiction
  • UFA Serial Drama
  • UFA Show & Factual
  • Fontaram Productions
  • Kwaï
Middle East
  • Abot Hameiri Communication Ltd. (Israel)

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