ENTERTAINMENT ONE ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN UK NON–SCRIPTED LEADERS WHIZZ KID ENTERTAINMENT
Extending eOne’s Non-Scripted Capabilities into New Territories
Building on the Two Companies’ Successful Collaboration on the Upcoming US Version of
“Ex on the Beach” for MTV, Based on Whizz Kid’s Hit UK Format
April 9, 2018 – London/Los Angeles - Entertainment One (“eOne”) today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in UK non-scripted television production company Whizz Kid Entertainment (“Whizz Kid”), led by founder Malcolm Gerrie and Lisa Chapman.
Marking eOne’s first UK-based television production company acquisition, the transaction further broadens eOne’s robust UK business, a hub for the Company’s Family and Brands business, with marquee property Peppa Pig, as well as film, scripted television and international distribution operations. The move also represents eOne’s continued growth and investment in the non-scripted space and propels its dynamic non-scripted development and production capabilities into new territories.
The transatlantic non-scripted foothold is expected to build on the momentum of Ex on the Beach, the popular Whizz Kid format currently being adapted by eOne for MTV in the US, with additional US adaptations of audience-favorite Whizz Kid formats, while reciprocally bringing eOne’s expansive US non-scripted slate to the UK market.
“Whizz Kid gives us a strong footing in one of the most creative markets in the world and is a great first step in our ambitious non-scripted global expansion strategy,” said eOne’s Tara Long, EVP, Alternative, Television. “Malcolm is a highly-respected industry executive with broad experience in the international market. We couldn’t be more excited to hit the ground running together with new series on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“From the first moment we met Tara and the eOne non-scripted team we knew there was a real chemistry. eOne is a major player on the world stage and I’m thrilled to partner with them on this next chapter of the Whizz Kid story. Our former partners Ingenious have been terrific from the very beginning and we thank them and Patrick McKenna for all their unwavering support,’’ said Gerrie, CEO, Whizz Kid Entertainment.
‘’The team at Whizz Kid always set the bar high creatively,’’ added Lisa Chapman, Managing Director, Whizz Kid Entertainment. ‘’Having already collaborated on Ex on the Beach with eOne in the US, we are now looking forward to creating even more ambitious and daring global entertainment formats.’’
Established in 2006, Whizz Kid has a track record of creating resonant non-scripted brands, such as Ex on the Beach (9 seasons), Let’s Dance for BBC 1 (5 seasons) and the Life on Screen specials for BBC2 (co-produced with BAFTA). The company is also a leading live event specialist producing the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) and numerous live events - which is a growing area of focus for eOne. Whizz Kid has long-standing relationships with key broadcasters in the UK including BBC, Sky, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5, which through continued success will reinforce partnership potential across all genres and support eOne’s deep scripted development efforts in the UK.
Whizz Kid will continue to be led by Gerrie and Chapman, who will report to Long, and will operate under its own banner and brand. The rest of the senior team remains in place and will continue to focus on the development of original non-scripted entertainment programming with significant international appeal.
eOne‘s robust slate of non-scripted shows includes Death Row Chronicles for BET; 2017 Emmy® nominee for LA Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later; Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. the first biography to be authorized by the rapper’s estate for A&E; hit new series Siesta Key for MTV; The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show from executive producer Wilmer Valderrama for Fuse; Growing Up Hip Hop and Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta, the docu-series franchise following the next generation of hip-hop royalty for WEtv; and Mary Mary for WEtv, among others.
eOne and Whizz Kid were brought together by WME. Whizz Kid was represented in the deal by ACF.
About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.
Entertainment One’s robust network includes newly-launched MAKEREADY with Brad Weston; content creation venture Amblin Partners with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; leading feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures; unscripted television production company Renegade 83; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning digital agency Secret Location
The Company’s rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 80,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks.
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