12:31pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
FremantleMedia North America Acquires Random House Studio
FremantleMedia North America has acquired Random House Studio.
Along with China-based Meridian Entertainment, Fremantle has entered into a partnership where it will oversee all television adaptations from Random House Studio and Meridian will operate and grow the studio’s theatrical slate.
The new partnership with the studio, formerly part of trade book publisher Penguin Random House, will provide Fremantle and Meridian with greater access to authors and the facility to adapt for film and television worldwide. It also will give Meridian full access to develop, finance and produce Random House Studio’s theatrical projects.
The Random House Studio team will be bi-coastal, with the Los Angeles-based executives housed in the FremantleMedia North America offices and New York-based execs in the Penguin Random House headquarters, close to the authors and publishing community.
Ongoing scripted projects in development and production at Random House Studio include Loving Day, based on the book by Mat Johnson and sold as a half-hour series to Showtime; a television movie about the life of marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson sold to HBO; What Remains, an original script by Ryan Scott; and Team Life, an original script by Tracey Jackson. On the children’s programming side, the team is developing the series of Junie B. Jones books, written by the late Barbara Park and being adapted by Allison Gregory.
In feature films, Meridian will now oversee the slate Random House Studio is currently developing, including The Silent Land with Focus Features, based on the novel by Graham Joyce; Longbourn with Studio Canal, based on the novel by Jo Baker; and City of Light, based on the nonfiction book Death in the City of Light by David King, co-produced with Anne Carey, Jawal Nga and Film Wave.
“Peter Gethers and the entire team at Random House Studio are literary visionaries, and the adroit Jennifer Dong and her team at Meridian have built a vibrant company that is well-positioned globally," Craig Cegielski, co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America, said Monday in a statement. "Our collective ambitions enable us to further harness the voice of the authors, engaging them in all stages of their adaptation and bringing their vision to every media platform worldwide.”
Added Meridian founder and chairman Jennifer Dong: “It is a great privilege to establish such a close partnership with FremantleMedia and their Random House Studio. FremantleMedia is one of the world’s most successful creators and producers of original television programming and entertainment brands, reaching into more than fifty countries. This partnership is a breakthrough for Meridian’s global strategy and marks a milestone in our international expansion. Meridian has the determination, strength and ability to make full use of the rich and varied content that FremantleMedia and Random House Studio can provide and we will also explore the great potential of the vast Chinese market for our new partners. We look forward to working closely with co-CEOs Craig Cegielski, Jennifer Mullin and their team at FremantleMedia North America, as well as their team within Random House Studio, led by Peter Gethers. We cannot wait to provide the global audience with more films that mirror the enormous range of critically acclaimed content under their purview.”
said Peter Gethers, executive vp and general manager of Random House Studio: “The Random House Studio team has been working with the current team at FMNA for two years now. Thanks to their creativity and support, it has been a perfect partnership. I am thrilled that we will now be a part of that team, allowing us to work even closer together and helping us grow. We’re thrilled that FMNA has found such an accomplished strategic partner in Meridian Entertainment to oversee our theatrical output and take us to new heights. Led by the extraordinary Jennifer Dong, Meridian has proven to be the innovative partners we’ve been looking for. Random House Studio is now truly a full-fledged studio, able to move in any direction that is appropriate to the material we find."