Powerhouses To Develop Scripted Television SeriesFremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has announced a major first look deal with Pukeko Pictures, the affiliate television company of Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop. The partnership will see the two companies working together on new scripted television series, which will benefit from the expertise from within the New Zealand entertainment sector, in particular the Weta Workshop facilities and the world-renowned talents of the Wellington film and television production industry.
As part of the new relationship, FME and Pukeko have jointly hired Adam Fratto to head up development of new television projects for the global market, working out of FremantleMedia’s LA office. Reporting to Martin Baynton, co-owner of Pukeko Pictures, Fratto will work alongside Jeff Tahler, FME’s SVP of Global Content, and Tony Optican, SVP of Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America.
This deal further expands FME’s global content initiative, which has recently included Wedding Band, from Tollin Productions for TBS in the US, and Hit & Miss from Abbott Vision for Sky Atlantic in the UK.
David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said, “The teams at Pukeko and Weta Workshop are respected the world over for their work at the cutting edge of the film and television industry. Adam’s appointment provides tremendous opportunities, allowing for incredibly close collaboration between our two organisations on the development, financing and production of ambitious and innovative new scripted content that will appeal to audiences around the globe.”
Richard Taylor, co-founder of Pukeko Pictures, said, “We are proud and delighted to have formed this partnership with FremantleMedia Enterprises, a global entertainment leader. Together with Adam as EVP, Development, we look forward to creating high-quality and universally appealing productions. Adam brings to the partnership years of industry experience with Atticus Entertainment and Piller/Segan and we are thrilled to announce his appointment.”
Pukeko Pictures is affiliated with the Oscar® and Bafta award-winning Weta Workshop through founding partners Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, known internationally for their work on films including the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin and The Hobbit; television shows Hercules and Xena, and their own IP developed brands Jane and the Dragon and The WotWots.
Adam Fratto joins from Atticus Entertainment where he spearheaded television, feature and new media development under a first-look deal with HBO. He is also co-executive producer of Haven, a dramatic mystery series based on “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King, airing on Syfy in the U.S. and more than 100 cable channels around the world.
Prior to his role at Atticus Entertainment, Fratto served as VP at Piller/Segan where he oversaw development and served as associate producer on The Dead Zone and Wildfire and co-producer on Greek. While at Piller/Segan, Adam developed and sold pilots to ABC, NBC, TNT, ABC, Family, Lifetime, Syfy, USA, and Spike and worked closely with studios including ABC Studios, NBCU Studios, Fox TV Studios, E1, and Lionsgate.
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Notes to Editors
ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes FremantleMedia North America, UFA, FremantleMedia UK, FremantleMedia Australia and Original Productions amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), Hole In The Wall, Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, and Neighbours.
About Pukeko Pictures
Pukeko Pictures is an independent entertainment production house focused on the development of high quality entertainment properties for a world audience. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, the city famous for blockbuster movies such as: Avatar, King Kong and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pukeko Pictues has a close relationship with Weta Workshop through the involvement of Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger. Pukeko’s first production, the WotWots, has launched to great success and is currently broadcast in 90 territories worldwide.
Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson.
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Jumana Rizwan Mary Jones
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