Fremantle Sells 'The X Factor' to Fox in Russia, Eastern Europe

Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Fox International Channels takes the U.S. version of the hit talent show for Russia, Poland and the CIS region, while RTL Klub picks up three seasons of "X Factor" for Hungary.

BUDAPEST – Production giant FremantleMedia has kicked off Eastern European TV market NATPE Budapest in impressive style, opening the event with a series of major regional deals, including ones for hit talent show The X Factor.

Fremantle inked deals for three seasons of U.S. version of The X Factor with Fox International channels for Russia, Poland, the Baltics and the CIS region, as well as Bulgaria and the Balkans. Commercial network RTL Klub grabbed the U.S. X Factor for Hungary.

Fox also picked up seasons three to six of Fremantle format Project Runway for its Bulgarian and Balkan channels and Sony Channels in Russia took seasons eight and nine of the fashion reality show.

PHOTOS: Inside Simon Cowell's 'X Factor' Trailer

Across Eastern Europe, Fremantle had success with lifestyle and factual formats, closing a package deal for 300 hours of factual programming with Czech network FTV Prima that included 75 hours of lifestyle shows fronted by Brit celebrity chef Jamie Oliver while Chello Central Europe acquired more than 145 hours of Martha Stewart-fronted programming.

Fictional sales were also brisk, including a content deal with Sony Channels Russia that included the edgy crime drama Hit and Miss starring Chloe Sevigny and the WWII mini series Laconia and a second window deal with Disney Channel Russia for the first five seasons of fantasy series Merlin.

Among the highlights of its new slate that FremantleMedia will be screening for Eastern European buyers at NATPE Budapest, which runs through Thursday, are the Australian ratings hit Wentworth, the British comedy Count Arthur Strong from veteran writer and producer Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd) and factual reality show Tattoo Nightmares.