Catch for Fremantle

Original Prods. sells 75% stake; Beers staying

The creator of "Deadliest Catch" and "Ice Road Truckers" has sold a controlling stake of his production company to FremantleMedia.

Thom Beers' Original Prods. entered into an agreement with the international "American Idol" production house whereby FremantleMedia acquired a 75% stake. CEO Beers and president Philip Segal will continue to lead Original.

"We are very excited to be working with Thom and his talented team," FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said. "Original Prods. has created outstanding shows that have been enormously popular with audiences around the world. We look forward to helping further build the Original Prods. brand."

The 12-year-old Original Prods. will become part of FremantleMedia's network of production, distribution and licensing companies.

Beers already has a distribution relationship with FremantleMedia Enterprises, which has sold his male-oriented, gritty reality shows including "Black Gold" and "1,000 Ways to Die" to more than 50 broadcasters worldwide. Beers becomes the latest independent reality producer to join forces with a larger foreign distributor; Tom Forman recently joined Relativity Media. (partialdiff)
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