Fremantle bulks up its drama roster


FremantleMedia Enterprises has signed a series of first-look deals with prominent U.S. and international producers and creatives.

They include Los Angeles-based Winkler Films and Landscape Entertainment, "Smallville" producer Mike Tollin, U.K. writer-producer Paul Abbott ("State of Play") and Aussie writer-producer Roger Simpson ("Satisfaction").

The agreements, announced today at MIPTV by FME CEO David Ellender, come on the heels of a similar first-look partnership with David Thompson's Origin shingle and development deals with writers like Michael Hirst ("The Tudors").

The agreements are part of FME's strategy to boost its drama slate. At MIPTV this year, the company is pushing the second season of its flagship drama "Merlin," produced by Shine Television and BBC One. (partialdiff)