French Film Studio Gaumont Heads to Hollywood to Launch TV Company

Katie O’Connell named CEO of Gaumont International Television, with Richard Frankie tapped as COO.


PARIS - French film studio Gaumont is heading overseas and to the small screen with new shingle Gaumont International Television (GIT) based in L.A., the company announced on Monday. The independent studio will focus on production of drama and comedy TV programming for both stateside and international markets.

Katie O’Connell has been named CEO of the new company with Richard Frankie tapped as COO.

GIT will take advantage of Gaumont’s already established catalog of entertainment properties to develop into TV formats. London-based Erik Pack will head up the International Distribution and Co-production unit for the company.

“As we looked to expand our global presence in television it became clear that the next logical step was to launch Gaumont International Television. As a leading independent studio we are looking to build a company that is nimble, global and creative in this ever changing television landscape,” Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas and vice CEO Christophe Riandee said in a joint statement.

GIT already has several projects in development that the new company will launch at this year’s Mipcom market in October including hour-long drama series Hannibal and six-hour miniseries Madame Tussaud. Hannibal, written by Bryan Fuller, follows the famous Dr. Hannibal Lecter and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler who empathizes with serial killers. Fuller, the mind behind Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me, is exec producing the series alongside Martha De Laurentiis. Madame Tussaud, based on the book by Michelle Moran and written by The TudorsMichael Hirst, follows the life of artist and business woman Madame Tussaud whose tumultuous life spanned the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

O’Connell, fresh from her position as evp of Drama Programming for NBC Entertainment, also served as evp of Development and Programming at Imagine Entertainment where she developed several comedy and drama shows including the Emmy award-winning Arrested Development. Frankie was previously evp of Business Operations for Sony Pictures TV after senior level positions at Buena Vista Home Video and Universal Television.

Evolution Media Capital handled GIT’s financing.