Original Productions Debuts Digital Shows, Taps TV Library
Thom Beers, whose FremantleMedia-owned company has produced some blockbuster male-targeted reality shows, is going over the top with a new venture. Beers has launched a unit to offer some of his hits directly to consumers via digital outlets.
Original Productions Entertainment Networks will also develop new online content, as well as providing a library of Beers-developed programming.
"As producers, it's always been our goal to have a direct connection to our viewers and advertisers," Beers stated. "Recent technology advances have shown us that there are no boundaries. The opportunities to create dynamic and innovative IP are limitless."
The initiative plays in the broad arena of over-the-top TV offers viewers content outside pay TV. It’s not clear what Beers’ company will make available, although his archives are extensive. They hold more than 1,400 hours worth of programming.
He has buoyed multiple cable networks with series such as “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery), “Ice Road Truckers” (History) and “Storage Wars” (A&E). He has also done work with truTV and the National Geographic Channel.
Also unclear is a brand name, and whether the project will be entirely ad-supported or include subscription fees.
Presumably, Beers’ company will have to do revenue calculations to determine which is more lucrative: offering programming on its platform versus licensing content to Netflix.
Philip D. Segal, president of Beers’ Original Productions, will run the new venture, while company producer Gayle Gilman will serve as senior vice president.
Gilman, a co-executive producer on “Ice Road Truckers,” worked on the Coke account at McCann-Erickson, while holding programming posts at networks where Beer’s work has appeared.