Leonine Studios has rebranded its Odeon Entertainment production company under the new name Madame Zheng Production.
The stated goal of the rebranded prodco, which was announced on Tuesday (March 15), is to develop and produce emotional, value-driven non-fiction content, with a primary focus on equality and diversity in every aspect of the business.
It was also announced that Tina Wagner, former producer and executive producer at RedSeven Entertainment, and Nina Etspüler, Leonine’s co-head of entertainment, are joining Madame Zheng’s management team.
Wagner (pictured right) will work as managing director of the team, alongside longtime Odeon managing director Martin Schneider. In her past work, Wagner has developed successful docutainment formats like Married at First Sight, Five Senses for Love and Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.
Etspüler (pictured left) previously served as group creative director of Red Arrow, working on global format and content development as well as acquisitions and international market launches. She also spent more than a decade as executive producer at ProSieben and Sat. 1, where she was responsible for formats like Elton vs. Simon, Comedystreet and Rent a Pocher. She now works as managing director of i&u TV and Madame Zheng Production.
Schneider, meanwhile, now assumes the role of managing director of Madame Zheng. As head of Odeon Entertainment, he was responsible for the development and production of non-fiction titles like Haunted – Seelen Ohne Frieden and the Austrian format Wirt Sucht Frau.
“Ever since Nina Etspüler joined Leonine in January 2021, we have jointly pursued the goal of establishing a production brand that advocates for equality and diversity in front of and behind the camera, in order to firmly anchor these themes, which are essential for Leonine Studios, in the production market,” said Fred Kogel, Leonine Studios CEO and co-head of entertainment, in a news release.
“The entertainment sector in Germany, in particular, has a lot of catching up to do, which is why we want to consciously champion equality and diversity. I am very pleased that we can now put our plans into practice with such a distinguished and talented colleague as Tina Wagner.
“Madame Zheng Production perfectly complements our existing entertainment brands i&u TV and SEO Entertainment,” Kogel continued. “In its entirety, Leonine Studios now covers an even broader spectrum within non-fiction production. This will generate further growth for our Leonine Production division.”
Wagner added: “We want to create programs that appeal to everyone, and don’t limit ourselves to specific genres or target audiences. Our main focus is to develop entertaining, value-driven and glamorous formats that are visually innovative, recognizable and unique.
“The new company name reflects our brand essence. Madame Zheng, the name of a legendary pirate, symbolizes for us a strong, unconventional woman who is very successful at what she does. And that’s how we’re starting out now — ready to conquer the TV landscape.”