FremantleMedia Inks Random House to First-Look TV Deal

Jeffrey Levine
Jeffrey Levine
 

FremantleMedia has inked a first-look deal with trade-book publisher Random House and as part of the pact, tapped Jeffrey Levine to head the newly launched Random House Television.

Under the deal, Random House will develop scripted TV content for both domestic and international markets based on fiction and nonfiction books published by the shingle's North American and foreign imprints. Random House authors will also develop original scripted efforts under the partnership.

Based in FremantleMedia's Los Angeles office, Levine will report to Peter Gethers, president of Random House Studio, where they collaborate with its parent company's editors, publishers and authors' agents to acquire performance rights for broadcast, cable and premium scripted formats.

In an interview with THR in February, Gethers called TV a "natural extension" of Random House's film efforts.

Levine will work alongside FremantleMedia Enterprises senior vp global content Jeff Tahler and senior vp scripted programming Tony Optican.

Levine joins the unit from Spring Creek Productions, where he developed features including Blood Diamond, Monster-in-Law and This Is Where I Leave You. His credits also include executive producing HBO's Too Big To Fail, which was nominated for 11 Emmys.

In addition, Random House Television has added Christine Malach, Random House's executive story editor, who will be based in L.A.; executive story editors Valerie Cates and Claudia Herr as well as story editor Brady Emerson will join the unit's New York team.

"This is a hugely exciting coming together of two companies in the Bertelsmann family," FremantleMedia Enterprises Global CEO David Ellender said. "As one of the world's most successful book publishers with a global roster of admired authors, Random House is the perfect partner for FremantleMedia as we continue to develop and expand our slate of world-class scripted content for international audiences."

Added Gethers: "Partnering with the very talented and savvy FremantleMedia team gives us a wonderful opportunity to significantly increase the many options we already offer to Random House authors around the world. This alliance will enable us to help them expand into new creative and commercial areas to broaden their audience. Random House Television is a natural extension of the partnership we already enjoy with our writers and will help them flourish in an increasingly complex, exciting, and interdependent global entertainment business. I'm thrilled to have Jeff on board with us, and with the opportunity to work with FremantleMedia in the U.S. and internationally."

FremantleMedia's worldwide production arm is behind fare including American Idol, Hole in the Wall, America's Got Talent, The X Factor, Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price Is Right and several others. 

UTA brokered the deal for Random House.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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