Talpa Media, Shine to start prod'n venture

Will have rights to sell, adapt, produce Talpa formats

LONDON -- John de Mol's Talpa Media has struck a deal with Shine Group's French division aimed at creating a 50/50 joint production venture to serve the French and French-speaking Belgian markets, it was announced Thursday.

Headed by Shine France CEO Thierry Lachar, the joint venture will have exclusive rights to sell, adapt and produce all Talpa formats across reality, game show and scripted programming, including such shows as "Dating in the Dark," "Viper's Nest," "Pretty Smart" and "Guestimation."

The move gives Dutch production entity Talpa a key expansion platform in France after earlier agreements to launch a joint production entity in France with Endemol were mutually dissolved.

Talpa's de Mol said the partnership model was preferable to a Talpa-only startup or the acquisition of an existing entity.

"I'm more and more convinced that for Talpa the (partnership) way can be a sensible and fruitful one. That's why I feel very pleased to have found the renowned Shine Group to team up in France," he added.

As part of Shine Group's ongoing international expansion program, Shine France was founded in July 2009 with the appointment of ex-Endemol France chief creative officer Lachar as CEO. The division of Elisabeth Murdoch's global production outfit Shine Group recently won its first major commission to produce cookery competition show "Masterchef" for TF1.