FremantleMedia backing new talent deals

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LONDON -- FremantleMedia has launched a £28 million ($58.4 million) talent fund in a bid to grow its talent relationships around the world.

The FremantleMedia Talent Fund, announced Thursday, boasts initial deals with actor Trevor Eve, "The I.T. Crowd" writer Graham Linehan and production shingle Hillbilly Prods.

The entertainment giant behind "American Idol" will use the fund to back new talent deals and companies in the U.K. and the U.S., but will eventually target opportunities across the company's global production network spanning Europe and Asia, seeking acquisitions across all its territories over the next few years.

"The Talent Fund will allow us to build on one of our most important assets -- our strong relationships with talent," said Christian Schneider-Sickert, FremantleMedia's director of operations and strategy.

"We have a great track record in partnering with some of the industry's best creative and onscreen talent, turning ideas into global entertainment and drama brands, while exploiting the intellectual property throughout the world and across all platforms," he said. "We are now looking to substantially increase our investment in such relationships across our key markets."
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