Australian indie producer Essential Media and Entertainment has inked a joint venture deal with Aussie factual TV producer Quail Television in a bid to create a new big player in lifestyle programming in the U.S. market.
The product of their pact is L.A.-based Essential Quail Television LLC, which is led by executive producer partners Greg Quail (Quail TV), Jesse Fawcett (Essential Media U.S.) and Chris Hilton (Essential Media and Entertainment). The new hybrid prodco is already producing a number of series for Scripps Networks Interactive, including DIY’s Texas Flip n Move, its two spinoff series Louisiana Flip n Move and Alaska Flip n Move, a new 13 x 60 minute restoration series, Restored, and several new pilots for HGTV and DIY.
Quail TV had previously produced a number of series in Australia, including Real Top Guns for SBS, Saving Babies and Saving Kids for Network Ten, Find My Family for Channel Seven, and the multiple Banff Mountain Fest award-winning Crossing the Ice for National Geographic Channel.
The joint venture with Essential Media follows the recent opening of a Quail TV production office in L.A.
Essential Quail has also made a number of new hires to bolster its production and development arms. Industry vet Joel Rizor has joined the company as chief executive producer and Lindsay Wilkinson as executive in charge of a newly recruited production department.
On the development side, former Essential Media USA and RTR Media development producer Paul Taylor joined Essential Quail as head of development. His credit include: Open House Overhaul (HGTV Canada); Open Concept (HGTV U.S.); Big Easy Reno (HGTV U.S.); and Home Town (HGTV U.S.). Before joining RTR, Taylor developed shows for Essential Media Canada including Panic Button (Space/Syfy), Destination Fear (Travel Channel), Fool’s Gold (Discovery Channel) and SyFy’s hidden camera prank comedy Scare Tactics. Taylor will be joined by Lauren Kalb-Black as head of casting, Katelynn Walker as director of development and Tim Barsten as lead development editor.
Meanwhile, Essential Media U.S.A. will continue to develop scripted and unscripted projects outside the lifestyle programming genre.