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.
History [ edit ]
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 gameshow 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.
On 13 July 2020, Fremantle spun off Storyglass into an independent company within Bertelsmann.
Entertainment production [ edit ]
The company has the largest catalogue of gameshows in the world, holding the format rights to recognisable shows including Let's Make a Deal, Family Feud and Press Your Luck, Supermarket Sweep, The Price is Right and Match Game 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.
Drama production [ edit ]
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 are also behind famous daily dramas (or soaps) including Neighbours, Un Posto Al Sole and Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten.
Distribution [ edit ]
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.
Company leadership [ edit ]
Jennifer Mullin is the Group CEO of Fremantle. She became CEO in September 2018, while heading its North American arm for three years before this. Jennifer joined Fremantle in 2005 and is the first American CEO of the London-based company. She leads Fremantle’s continued expansion, overseeing iconic unscripted formats and oversees the company’s high-end scripted division. In addition to also being the chairman and CEO of Fremantle North America, Jennifer also serves on the Executive Committee of RTL Group.
The Executive Board of Fremantle also includes:
Group COO, Andrea Scrosati - Andrea joined Fremantle in September 2018 from Sky Italia. As Group COO he has responsibility for central group functions including strategy, M&A, legal and business affairs, as well as the company’s operations across Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, France and Portugal), Brazil, Mexico and Israel. He also has business and operational responsibility for the execution of Fremantle’s global scripted plan, ensuring that projects are adequately resourced and positioned at the point of greenlight, working closely with Sarah Doole and Jens Richter throughout development, financing and pre-production.
Director of Global Entertainment, Rob Clark - Rob is responsible for setting the international format development agenda and direction for all Fremantle companies, as well as the management of all global format acquisitions. Rob is a highly experienced producer, programme creator and writer across primetime, entertainment, reality and comedy genres with extensive experience in the UK television industry.
Director of Global Drama, Sarah Doole - Sarah joined Fremantle in 2014 to oversee the company's move into high-end scripted content. The team now has over 33 high-end dramas in production and over 450 titles on the development slate. Sarah was previously Director of Drama and Comedy at BBC Worldwide.
CEO of International, Jens Richter - Jens oversees the global distribution of Fremantle's slate and manages the global content acquisition strategy. The International team work closely with creators and producers, to support financing projects while in the development stages.
CEO of Digital and Branded Entertainment, Keith Hindle - Keith is responsible for leading Fremantle's digital and branded entertainment strategy around the world. He oversees Fremantle's multi-platform business including social media and YouTube activity, as well as all branded opportunities and extensions for the global shows.
CEO of UFA, Nico Hofmann - Nico oversees the creation and production of a diverse programme portfolio in Germany which ranges from daily dramas and entertainment shows to successful feature films and transmedia content. Three production units operate under the UFA umbrella: UFA FICTION, UFA SERIAL DRAMA, and UFA SHOW & FACTUAL. Nico joined UFA in 2015.
Group HR Director, Nicky Gray - Nicky oversees the global people strategy, which creates a sustainable and creative culture for people of all backgrounds. Nicky has worked at Fremantle since 2002.
UK CEO, Simon Andreae - Simon became CEO of the UK business in February 2020 and is responsible for the creative and commercial leadership of all its British operations and production labels. Previously to this, he was founder and Chief Executive of Naked, the production company behind The Rap Game for BBC3, Harry Redknapp’s Sandbanks Summer for ITV, Indian Summer School for Channel 4, and 100% Hotter for Channel 5. Naked was fully acquired by Fremantle in February 2020.
CEO Asia Pacific, Chris Oliver-Taylor - Chris joined Fremantle in September 2018 as CEO of Australia. He was promoted in November to oversee the Asia Pacific region including Japan, Indonesia and India. He joined Fremantle from NBCUniversal-owned Matchbox Pictures where he served in numerous positions since 2011.
CFO, Andrew Bott - Andrew is responsible for financial reporting and controlling for the Group as well as corporate financial strategy, risk management and operations. Andrew joined Fremantle from BBC Worldwide in 2015.
Non-Executive Chairman of the UK, David Liddiment - David is a highly experienced creative leader with a long career in the media, and has been on the Fremantle board since 2015. He advises the UK and global teams.
Production offices and labels [ edit ]
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)
- Boundless (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 Entertainment (United Kingdom; 100% ownership since 26 February 2020)
- 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)
- Wavy (Italy)
- Random House Studio (United States)
- Random House Films
- Random House Television
- Buzzr (Digital broadcast television network, United States)
List of Fremantle productions [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
- Adam Dawtrey (20 August 2001). "Pearson TV placed on Fremantle". Variety. London. ‹See TfM› [failed verification]
- White, Peter; 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.