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2 items from 2008

ITV snaps up 10% stake in Electric Farm

1 August 2008 9:05 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

London -- British commercial broadcaster ITV shares may be trading around rock bottom, but it's flexing its muscle in the emerging Internet video market, announcing the acquisition of a 10% stake in Web video production studio Electric Farm Entertainment for an undisclosed sum Friday.

Acquired through its U.S. production unit, Granada America, the acquisition gives ITV a foothold in online drama content creation aimed at a youth audience in the mold of such successes as Bebo's "Kate Modern," "PromQueen" and "Quarterlife."

Current Electric Farm Web drama formats include sci-fi show "Gemini Division" and thriller "Woke Up Dead."

Under the deal, Granada America also is expected to explore new Web video content possibilities for its U.S. factual entertainment brands including "Hell's Kitchen," "Nanny 911" and "One More Time."

Santa Monica-based Electric Farm was founded by former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-president Jeff Sagansky and Disney producer Stan Rogow.

"I'm attracted to this company because they are specializing in scripted direct-to-Internet programming that is economically produced but creatively engaging," ITV Global Content head Lee Bartlett said. "These projects have worldwide appeal to audiences and advertisers alike, with the potential to grow on to other platforms including TV."

ITV shares rose 1.3% to 43p (85 cents) on the news. »

- By Mimi Turner

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CMT second home for series

28 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CMT has snapped up off-net rights to two unscripted series -- Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy and Nanny 911 -- as part of a multiyear licensing agreement with Twentieth Television.

Spouses and Nanny, both Fox series, are set to debut next week, with Spouses airing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon and 1 p.m. and with repeats at 6 and 7 p.m. It will alternate days with Nanny, which will air in the same time periods Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"We believe that the addition of these family-based reality shows to our schedule will not only engage our core fans but attract new viewers as well," CMT vp programming strategy Mary Beth Cunin said.

Twentieth president and COO Bob Cook called the shows "two of television's most memorable family-centered reality series." »

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