Pop Monkey Swings Into UK
By Michael Rosser
Published: July 12, 2011
Pop Monkey Productions, the LA-based indie set up by two FremantleMedia execs, is to open a UK office.
The company, based initially at Advision TV Studios in Kent, will look to fund a number of unscripted and multiplatform pilots using their broadcast studio facilities.
The indie will also use the UK base to manage a development slate currently being compiled.
Co-founders and development executives Chuck Thomas and Simone Thorogood - the former international heads of Participation TV at FremantleMedia - will head up the UK office, while the company will continue to be based in LA under the direction of Syd Vinnedge and FremantleMedia’s former director of development Hugh Wright.
The move follows Pop Monkey’s push into original content and ownership of unscripted format rights.
The move follows recent format deals with Sony Pictures Television (US), TF1 Productions (France), Absolutely Independent (Netherlands) and ohm:tv (Germany). The company has also just signed a joint venture with Miditech in India, the local producer behind “Indian Idol” and “Survivor”.
In acquisition news, Pop Monkey has just picked up UK and US rights to Guerilla Grill (RTL Klub, Hungary), in addition to Catch 21 (GSN, US) and In The Dark, which has aired in more than 20 countries).
Thomas said: “With this move we intend to leverage global success to get better deals with US networks.
“Our goal is to pitch new formats to broadcasters in Europe first in a bid to retain ownership outside the US and bring them back when they’re hits”.
© Broadcast Magazine 2011