Endemol Takes International Rights to Spike TV's 'Criss Angel Believe'

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The independent TV powerhouse also poaches BBC entertainment executive Mirella Breda who will become creative director of its Initial label.

LONDON – Independent TV powerhouse Endemol said Thursday it has struck a deal to distribute new Spike TV show Criss Angel Believe outside of North America.

The show recently premiered as Spike TV’s most-watched new original series in more than 18 months. It ranked among the top 10 cable shows in its time period among people aged 18-49.

"Criss Angel once again proves that he knows the secret to make magic highly successful as a television series, and the premiere ratings show just how hot his magic continues to be,” said Cathy Payne, CEO of Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

"Criss Angel Believe has delivered Spike a new hit series featuring the number one magician in the past decade with the strongest global following in the art of magic,” said Eddie Dalva, executive vp, content and program Enterprises, Viacom Entertainment and Music Groups.

Also on Thursday, Endemol announced that it has hired a BBC entertainment executive in a key role at its production label Initial.

Mirella Breda, currently executive editor of BBC entertainment commissioning,  will become creative director at the firm in February.

Her tasks will include further expanding Initial’s output of entertainment formats for the U.K. and international markets.

She has been in her current BBC role since Jan. 2007.  Her credits include Masterchef, Dragons Den and Initial hit Total Wipeout.

Breda will report to Initial managing director Nick Samwell-Smith.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai