In a corporate-sibling partnership that could help FremantleMedia build a scripted programming business in the U.S., the production company has inked a first-look deal with Random House to co-develop shows based on book titles.
Fremantle, which is behind “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” has done well with
unscripted series stateside, but failed to make much headway in the drama and comedy arenas versus its overseas performance.
The deal between two entities controlled by Bertelsmann will have Fremantle working with a new Random House Television division, along with editors, publishers and agents, to find potential scripted content opportunities for both domestic and global audiences.
Peter Gethers, an accomplished author and former writer for “Kate & Allie,” heads the broader Random House Studio unit.
Jeffrey Levine, formerly of Spring Creek Productions, has been tapped as the head of Random House Television, overseen by Gethers, and based at the Fremantle Los Angeles office. Levine helped work on the film “Blood Diamond” and was an executive producer on HBO’s “Too Big To Fail.”
Continuing Fremantle’s unscripted success in the U.S., the Syfy network recently renewed its new “Total Blackout” series for a second season. The company also recently announced a new head of North American programming, with Trish Kinane moving over from a global role with the company.