FEF profile: World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey

Fenton Bailey, co-founder of World of Wonder productions, clearly has a knack for producing fun, personality-driven programming. Bailey will contribute his expertise related to the art of effective casting as part of realscreen's Factual Entertainment Forum next week.
May 27, 2010

Fenton Bailey co-founded World of Wonder with producer/director Randy Barbato in 1990 and the prodco has since grown to launch various reality and documentary series on channels such as HBO, BBC, Bravo, MTV, VH1 and ITV. With offices in Hollywood and London, the company produces series and documentaries on alternative lifestyles, intriguing personalities and pop culture phenomena for TV, the big screen and their web TV channel WOW TV.

June is a big month for the prodco, with two series debuting on Planet Green and Sundance Channel, a returning series going into production and a couple of new series heading into post production.

One of the new series has generated a fair amount of buzz even before its June 16 debut on Planet Green. The Fabulous Beekman Boys follows couple Brent Ridge, former VP of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and New York Times-bestselling author Josh Kilmer-Purcell as Kilmer-Purcell spends his weekdays in the city to make a living and Ridge lives full time on a farm in upstate New York trying to make a go of their organic brand, Beekman. The series documents how the couple manages to maintain a relationship while uprooting their lives and starting a business together, while also capturing such TV-ready moments as the hosting of a garden party and a wedding on their property, and adventures with their llama, Polka Spot.

The prodco also has Man Shops Globe returning to Sundance Channel June 30 and the production of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race starting up in the near future.

Aside from the debuts in June, Bailey tells realscreen that World of Wonder also has two new series that just finished shooting for MTV Networks’ Logo channel: The Arrangement and the spin-off of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Drag U. The latter premieres in July and documents what happens when RuPaul and a collection of top drag queens help a group of everyday women compete in ‘diva challenges.’ The Arrangement is an 8×60-minute series that pits talented floral arrangers against each other in ‘extreme floral arranging challenges.’ The floral elimination series is set to debut on Logo in October.

To top off the month of June for World of Wonder, Bailey is also speaking at the Factual Entertainment Forum’s Reality Casting panel on June 3. The panel, which provides a unique look at the creative process of finding the best talent for compelling fact ent television programming, also features panelists Cori Abraham, VP development and original programming at Bravo Media; Sheila Conlin, president of casting agency The Conlin Company; Laura Fleury, VP non-fiction and alternative programming for A&E Television Networks; Deena Katz, president of Talent Central and Sean Perry, co-head of the non-scripted department at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.