Fremantle (company)

Last updated

Fremantle Limited
FormerlyFremantle International (1952-1995)
FremantleMedia (2001–2018)
Type Subsidiary
IndustryTelevision
Predecessors
Founded1952;69 years ago (1952) [1]
Headquarters London,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Jennifer Mullin (CEO)
Owner Bertelsmann
Parent RTL Group
Subsidiaries See full list of labels
Website fremantle.com

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.

Contents

History

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]

Productions

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:

Region/CountryUnit(s)
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
France
  • Fontaram Productions
  • Kwaï
Netherlands
Italy
Denmark
Australia
Middle East
  • Abot Hameiri Communication Ltd. (Israel)

Related Research Articles

Bertelsmann German multinational media, services and education company

Bertelsmann is a German private multinational conglomerate corporation based in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of the world's largest media conglomerates and also active in the service sector and education.

RTL Group Entertainment company

RTL Group is an international media company based in Luxembourg with another corporate centre in Cologne, Germany. The company operates 68 television channels and 31 radio stations in Germany, France and other European countries. It also offers national streaming platforms, content productions and a range of digital services. Important segments of RTL Group are Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, Fremantle, RTL Nederland and RTL Belgium.

UFA GmbH, shortened to UFA, is a film and television production company that unites all production activities of Bertelsmann in Germany. Its name derives from Universum Film AG, which was a major German film company headquartered in Babelsberg, producing and distributing motion pictures from 1917 through to the end of the Nazi era. The name UFA was revived by Bertelsmann for an otherwise unrelated film and television outfit, UFA GmbH.

Talkback Thames British television production company

Talkback Thames was a British television production company, a division of FremantleMedia. It was formed by the merger of Talkback Productions and Thames Television. This merger was arranged in February 2003 and reversed in January 2012.

Super RTL is a German free-to-air television network owned by the RTL Group. The channel originally launched in 1995 as a joint venture between RTL Group predecessor company CLT-UFA and Disney's Buena Vista International Television Investments division.

Reg Grundy Productions was an Australian television production company founded in 1959 by businessman Reg Grundy. It later branched out into Europe and the United States. The company first produced game shows, then branched into soap operas in 1973. In 1995 Reg Grundy sold the company to Pearson Television, which has since become known as Fremantle and is part of the RTL Group. In 2006 FremantleMedia merged Grundy Television and Crackerjack Productions to form Fremantle Australia. Until 2013 the Grundy name still existed in Germany as Grundy Light Entertainment and in Italy as Grundy Productions Italy.

Lexington Broadcast Services Company

The Lexington Broadcast Services Company was a television production and syndication company founded in 1976 by advertising pioneer Henry Siegel. Advertising Age wrote of Siegel as "the man who built Lexington Broadcast Services into the nation's largest barter syndicator, and thus defined that segment of the TV ad business."

ITV Studios is a British multinational television production and distribution company owned by the British television broadcaster ITV plc. It handles production and distribution of programmes broadcast on the ITV network and third-party broadcasters, and is based in 12 countries across 60 production labels, with local production offices in the UK, US, Belgium, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Israel, France, and Scandinavia.

RTL Nederland

RTL Nederland Holding B.V. is a subsidiary of the RTL Group. The media company is located in Hilversum. Although the licences of its TV-stations RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8, RTL Z, RTL Lounge, RTL Crime, and RTL Telekids are issued by Luxembourg, the company targets the Dutch market. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Sven Sauvé, who used to be the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RTL Nederland.

All American Television

All American Television was a television syndication company active from 1981 to 1998. It was founded by Anthony J. Scotti, Ben Scotti, and Syd Vinnedge. The company was known for producing and distributing television shows such as Baywatch, America's Top 10, and the Mark Goodson Productions library of game shows.

Pearson Television was the American-based television production and distribution arm of a British company Pearson PLC.

Fremantle Australia is the Australian arm of global British production and entertainment company Fremantle. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of market leader Grundy Television and comedy specialists Crackerjack Productions, which had both been acquired previously by Fremantle.

Didier Bellens was a Belgian businessman. Until 15 November 2013, he was the CEO of Belgacom, the leading telecommunications company of Belgium. He was married and had three children. He died on 28 February 2016.

Endemol Shine Group B.V. was a Dutch production and distribution company of scripted and non-scripted content, responsible for programmes such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, The Money Drop, Fear Factor, The Voice, MasterChef, Your Face Sounds Familiar, Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror, Humans, Grantchester and Tin Star.

Plug RTL

Plug RTL is a general Luxemburgish French speaking commercial television chain with international presence and targeting adolescents and young people. The station is particularly popular in francophone parts of Belgium, but also somewhat in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium as well.

Leonine Holding GmbH, formerly Tele München Group, is a media company based in Munich.

On 23 January 1955 the privately owned Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT) launched Luxembourg's first television channel, the French-language Télé Luxembourg.

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is a German media company based in Cologne, North-Rhine Westphalia. It was founded in 2007 as a holding company for the German television, broadcasting and content production businesses of the RTL Group, which is majority-owned by Bertelsmann.

References

  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. 1 2 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. 1 2 Tom Grater (9 September 2020). "Fremantle Merges UK Factual Labels". deadline.com . Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  12. 1 2 "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". www.rtlgroup.com. 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". deadline.com . Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  20. https://www.drpluto.com/new-page-1
  21. "Home | Dancing Ledge Productions" . Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  22. Lieberman, David (18 July 2016). "FremantleMedia Buys Random House Studio With New TV-Movie Alliance". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  23. Veronica Villafañe (31 October 2019). "Fremantle Expands Into Latino Market, Buys Stake In Production Company The Immigrant". Forbes . Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  24. https://www.rapidtvnews.com/2019110157621/fremantle-bron-take-stake-in-the-immigrant.html
  25. 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.
  26. 1 2 Nick Vivarelli (20 January 2020). "Sky Italia's Vision Distribution to Launch Film Sales Company at Berlin's EFM". Variety . Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  27. 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.