The Hollywood Reporter Unveils 2013 Reality Heat List
This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
At this time last year, Thom Beers found himself uninspired, if not altogether bored. He had sold a majority stake in Original Productions -- the shop responsible for such Beers-produced hits as Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and Storage Wars -- to London-based FremantleMedia in early 2009 for a reported $50 million, and his contract was up at year's end. He had turned down a series of high-profile job offers and was toying with the idea of taking his wife, his 15-year-old son, Max, and a tutor on a ship to sail around the world for half a year. Then Cecile Frot-Coutaz came calling. She would be elevated to CEO of FremantleMedia, and she had handpicked Beers to replace her as CEO of the company's North American division. In summer 2012, Beers, 61 -- who had dabbled as an actor, playwright and Turner Broadcasting executive before becoming one of the most successful producers in the unscripted business during the past 15 years -- assumed the role and now oversees 175 Fremantle employees.