FremantleMedia has announced that it has purchased a 75% stake in LA-based Original Productions, the prodco behind such top-rated factual series as Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and The Deadliest Catch.
Original CEO Thom Beers and president Philip Segal will continue to spearhead the company, with Beers retaining the remaining 25% of the prodco. According to an official statement released from the companies, the partnership won’t affect either company’s existing relationships with broadcasters.
Dollar figures for the transaction haven’t been released as of yet. The companies had an existing relationship prior to this development, as FremantleMedia Enterprises distributes several of Original’s productions to over 50 broadcasters internationally.
‘I’m thrilled to be partnering creatively with FremantleMedia,’ said Thom Beers in the statement. ‘We’ve already established a very strong relationship with the FremantleMedia Enterprises team who have far exceeded our expectations in terms of distribution. Now, the Original Productions brand will reach an even wider audience under the incredibly successful FremantleMedia umbrella.’
FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen had this to say: ‘We are very excited to be working with Thom and his talented team. Original Productions have created outstanding shows which have been enormously popular with audiences around the world. We look forward to helping further build the Original Productions brand.’
As well as its cable successes, Original is producing four unscripted shows for NBC through its late-2007 deal with BermanBraun, and as announced during an interview at the Realscreen Summit, is embarking on the scripted path this year.