German Mini-Studio Leonine Launches TV Joint Venture With Comedian Oliver Pocher

Fred Kogel, Oliver Pocher Split - H 2020
Courtesy of Leonine; Tristar Media/Getty Images

The new production company, named Pool of Brainz, will develop TV formats for the German and international markets.

Fast-growing German media group Leonine has set up a new production joint venture with Oliver Pocher, one of Germany's best-known comedians and TV personalities. The new shingle, Pool of Brainz, will be a 50/50 venture between Pocher and Leonine's television group i&u TV. Based in Cologne, the company will develop television format ideas for the German and international markets.

The company's first project will be a live entertainment format, Pocher vs. Wendler – Schluss mit lustig!, which premieres on German commercial network RTL this Sunday.

Leonine, the media group formed by private equity group KKR, is quickly becoming one of Europe's largest and most prominent film and TV entities, though its growth at the moment is driven almost entirely by new acquisitions. KKR has acquired, and merged, independent film production and distribution companies Tele Munchen Group and Universum, and gobbled up production shingles i&u TV, Wiedemann & Berg Film und der W&B TV.

The group has been actively hoovering up major indie titles at recent film markets, including Rian Johnson's Knives Out, Lorene Scafaria's Hustlers as well as upcoming features such as  Samuel L. Jackson-starrer The Asset, Gerard Butler conspiracy thriller Remote Control and Roland Emmerich's sci-fi epic Moonfall, for the German market.

“Our strategy with our production division is to successfully cover all genres, including non-fictional entertainment,” Leonine CEO Fred Kogel said in a statement. “This joint venture is an important step in this positioning. With Pool of Brainz we want to quickly react to new trends and implement them immediately.”

Pocher, with a knowing nod to possible pump-and-dump strategy at KKR, quipped: “We're already the hottest media company and startup of the year. Please buy us!”