Endemol Germany, Wiedemann, Berg in TV deal

TV production joint venture: Wiedemann and Berg Television

BERLIN -- The German arm of production giant Endemol has joined forces with up-and-coming production talents Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann ("The Lives of Others") to launch a television production joint venture: Wiedemann & Berg Television.

Berg and Wiedemann, this year's winners of the Hollywood Reporter Award at annual German television confab the Cologne Conference, will head up the new group, which will focus on fictional television formats. Endemol Deutschland is already a leader in reality, serial and show formats, producing more than 5,000 hours of programming for German channels in 2009.

"Drama is a key strategic growth area for Endemol and this joint venture represents a significant step forward in one of the world's largest and most important TV markets," said Endemol Group CEO Ynon Kreiz.

Max Wiedemann said Endemol's international network (the company has operations in some 26 countries worldwide) would "significantly enhance our ability to offer new concepts and meet future challenges through innovative production, financing and distribution models."

Still in their earlier thirties, Wiedemann and Berg are two of Germany's most successful producers -- both in film, where they followed up Oscar-winner "The Lives of Others" with local boxoffice smash "Men in the City" -- and on TV, with glossy MOWs "The Inferno" and "Factor 8" for German commercial network Pro7.

"Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann are among the most ambitious, creative and talented fiction producers in Germany, their films represent a new generation," said Endemol Deutschland boss Marcus Wolter.

Wiedemann & Berg Television will have offices in Munich and Cologne. Endemol exec Jan Richard Schuster will run the Cologne office, which will focus mainly on serial and telenovela formats, while Wiedemann and Berg will oversee production on drama series and MOWs out of Munich.