Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio Electus has bought the production company Mannahatta Productions and plans to form a new production entity.
Founded by producer Tim Puntillo (pictured above), Mannahatta produces unscripted series’ such as NBC’s Minute To Win It and Identity, and forthcoming seasons of Food Network’s Extreme Chef and Chef Hunter that will air later this year. Puntillo will head the yet-to-be-named company and will be responsible for producing large format alternative programming for domestic and global markets.
Evolution Media Capital (EMC) and Marks negotiated the takeover on behalf of Puntillo. Although Electus has struck production and distribution deals with companies such as DiGa and 5×5 Media in the past, the Mannahatta acquisition marks the the first time the entertainment studio has taken the reins of another company.
“His experience in creating and producing worldwide franchises aligns perfectly with the global strategy of our company,” Electus CEO Chris Grant said of Puntillo in a statement. “He will be instrumental in further developing Electus’ already robust programming slate.”
Puntillo added: “I am excited to join Electus, to not only have the backing of an incredibly strong company with strong ties to foreign markets and deep relationships with advertisers, but to be surrounded by some of the most creative and talented people in the business.”
Electus also announced the expansion of its in-house production team with the appointments of Justin Dudek as Electus’ executive in charge of production and Allison Kaz as head of casting and talent.
Formerly head of production for Banijay Entertainment’s U.S. production start-up Angel City Factory, Dudek will oversee all Electus and third-party productions. His credits include ABC’s The Bachelor, Fox’s Joe Millionaire and OWN’s House Arrest.
In her new role, Kaz will over see casting for all Electus and third-party series. She is previously the head of casting for 3 Ball Productions where she worked on shows such as NBC’s The Biggest Loser, CW’s Beauty and the Geek and Fox’s MasterChef.