Sheldon Lazarus (pictured), former creative director of factual at DCD Media-owned September Films, is leaving that post to partner with DCD on a new television venture, Rize, that will focus on producing factual, factual entertainment and reality programming for the international market.
Rize will be headquartered in London, and will have a production office in Los Angeles. The executive team, currently being assembled, will develop and produce unscripted and scripted TV, branded entertainment and film for network, cable and syndication on both sides of the Atlantic.
The stand-alone company operating under the DCD umbrella will also adapt existing international formats for the U.S. market. Rize will be represented by CAA in the U.S.
Lazarus’ track record includes executive producing U.S. network A&E’s reality series Billy The Exterminator and TLC’s Mall Cops: Mall of America, as well as the UK series Penn & Teller: Fool Us for ITV1, and BBC1′s Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab. He has also produced the documentaries 650 lb. Virgin for TLC, China’s Elephant Man for National Geographic and Channel 4, and The Pregnant Man for Discovery Health and Channel 4.
The company has also announced it is about to go into production on a primetime returnable series for a U.S. cable network, and a series for the BBC.
“My objective is to create series concepts and formats that can be sold and distributed around the world and I am thrilled to join forces with DCD Media and have access to the group’s extensive domestic and international resources,” said Lazarus. “Our shared vision makes it an ideal partnership, and I am excited by the prospects of this collaboration.”
David Green, CEO of DCD Media, added: “Rize fits perfectly with our strategy of taking advantage of current opportunities present on both side of the Atlantic, and furthers the group’s aim to strengthen our position in the non-fiction market.”