8 items from 2014
When Dutch producer John de Mol has an idea for a reality show, American network executives tend to pay attention. The exec producer of Talpa Media Group created “Big Brother,” “Fear Factor,” “Deal or No Deal” and “The Voice,” first in Holland before importing them here. Now with “The Voice” singing a happy tune in 55 countries all over the globe, he’s poised to bring the latest Dutch sensation to America: “Utopia,” which is scheduled for a Sept. 2 premiere on Fox. Fifteen strangers will live together in an undisclosed location for a year, tasked with creating a new civilization. It’ll air twice a week, but viewers can follow online 24/7. “It’s the most ambitious reality show I’ve ever done,” says de Mol.
Variety: How did you come up with the idea?
de Mol: I felt that it was about time for a really big reality show again. I »
- Debra Birnbaum
Less animation, plenty of reality, and another two-hour comedy block reduced — those are some of the quick take-aways from Fox’s 2014 fall schedule announcement.
First up: On Mondays, the network will launch perhaps fall’s most-anticipated new drama, the Batman prequel series Gotham at 8 p.m. followed by the sophomore return of Sleepy Hollow at 9 p.m. Fox has ordered 16 episodes of Gotham and 18 episodes of Sleepy Hollow. On Tuesdays, ambitious new reality show Utopia, in which contestants try to build a perfect society over the course of a year, will open for New Girl and The Mindy Project (which »
- James Hibberd
De Rijk developed several hit formats during his exclusive partnerships with John de Mol, Endemol and Red Arrow Intl. “Deal or No Deal” has been on air in more than 150 countries. Other formats include “Set for Life,” “Show Me the Money” and “You Deserve It.”
De Rijk, who is based in Hilversum, the Netherlands, will work with Rob Clark, FremantleMedia’s director of global entertainment development, to create the next generation of game and entertainment formats.
Clark said: “Dick is an ideas man, with a fantastic understanding of the global TV market, and you can see from the formats that he’s developed, that he thinks creatively and strategically. I hope that alongside our global network of production companies, we »
- Leo Barraclough
FremantleMedia has signed an exclusive two-year co-development deal with Dutch game show master Dick De Rijk, creator of Deal or No Deal. The agreement, which Fremantle announced at Miptv on Tuesday, will see De Rijk develop reality and game show formats for the world market, which Fremantle will produce and distribute through its international network. Story: Fox Orders Interactive Quiz Show 'Boom!' In addition to global hit Deal or No Deal, De Rijk has developed successful formats such as Set for Life, Show Me the Money and You Deserve It. He previously had similar development deals in place
- Scott Roxborough
London — U.S. venture capital group Apollo Global Management has won the battle for control of entertainment giant Endemol, according to a report in a Dutch business newspaper.
The Financieele Dagblad, quoting unnamed sources, reported that Apollo has reached a deal with Endemol’s creditors, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Goldman Sachs, to allow Apollo to take a majority stake.
It is understood that Endemol’s management would be supportive of such an outcome on the basis that it would achieve a sustainable capital structure.
Apollo owns Core Media, whose formats include “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and speculation has mounted that it would merge Endemol, whose TV shows include “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal,” and Core.
Investment company Dasym Investment Strategies, of which Endemol co-founder John De Mol is a minority shareholder, had also been trying to seize control of Endemol. It »
- Leo Barraclough
BMG, the music rights group owned by German media giant Bertelsmann, has agreed to acquire Benelux electronic dance music publisher Talpa Music. The companies announced the deal Monday, but didn't disclose financial details. Talpa Music was formed in 2005 by Dutch media entrepreneur and reality TV producer John de Mol and Dutch music publisher Tony Berk. De Mol had founded TV firm Talpa Group in 2004 after selling independent production giant Endemol (Big Brother, Deal Or No Deal) in 2000. Photos: Edm Titans: Dance Music's 10 Highest Paid DJs The deal comes amid continuing consolidation in the Edm space, driven
- Georg Szalai
Fox is trying to create a perfect world with new unscripted series, “Utopia.” Or rather, the show’s contestants are. The series comes from John de Mol (“Big Brother,” “Deal Or No Deal,” “Fear Factor,” “The Voice”), and is based on the hit Dutch television series of the same name. “Utopia” will move a group of everyday people to an isolated, undeveloped location for an entire year, challenging them to create their own civilization. The “pioneers” will have limited amenities and no existing power structure. Each must become indispensable to the group or risk being replaced by potential newcomers. The Utopians will be able. »
- Tony Maglio
With the talent competition arena pretty saturated by Fox’s American Idol and The X Factor, NBC’s The Voice and America’s Got Talent, soon to be joined by ABC’s Rising Star, and the cooking broadcast market cornered by Gordon Ramsay, reality industry insiders have been tipping social experiments as the next hot unscripted genre. Now the man behind the most successful social experiment format to date, Big Brother creator John de Mol, is throwing his hat into the ring with his latest series, Utopia, in which 15 people set up their own new society. Like he does with most of his formats, which include global hit The Voice and Deal Or No Deal, de Mol launched Utopia in his native Holland, where the show premiered Monday night on Sbs 6, part of Sbs Broadcasting’s Dutch operations, in which de Mol’s Talpa Media has a 33% stake. The debut exceeded expectations, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
8 items from 2014
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