Exclusive: Fremantle plans to reunite The British have intelligence Producer Thames is under a restructuring with Talkback which will be unveiled next month.
Deadline understands that plans are being drawn up to merge Fremantle’s UK entertainment labels, with the merger of two powerful British production houses a strong possibility. Apprentice Producer Naked, which merged with Fremantle stablemate Boundless in 2020, could also be brought into the newly-merged entity.
If rubberstamped, Deadline understands that a label boss will be appointed to oversee the new Talkback Thames shingle and a redundant process will likely ensue. We revealed late last month that Thames MD Amelia Brown was leaving after two decades to set up her own production company, while Naked MD Fatima Salaria was also leaving soon.
If the plans are pushed through, the move will be the third time Thames has been combined with Talkback. They were first merged in 2003 before merging a decade later. Another merger followed in 2017 but was reversed just two years later.
The merger will once again create a small entertainment powerhouse.
Thames produces Simon Cowell’s ITV hit The British have intelligence (including Cowell’s Syco label) and a return may be prepared for it X factor, While Thames and Talkback co-produce the Netflix smash Too hot to handle. Other individual label credits included I can see your voice, QI And Never mind the BuzzcocksThe show includes the ITV format during the work Mamma Mia! i have a dream (Thames) and Skies Subject to demand (talkback).
RTL-owned Fremantle is undergoing major changes as the producer/distributor targets €3B ($3.2B) in revenue by 2025. A recent Deadline analysis estimates Fremantle has spent €250M ($270M) on 11 companies over the past two years.
The outfit has captured the likes of Italian indie luxe vids, ordinary people Produced by Element Pictures and UK docs indie 72 Films. Incidentally, 72, which cost Fremantle around £70M ($85.4M), is pushing entertainment by forging the format of the big-budget James Bond competition. A million roads for Prime Video with MGM Television, which is being produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
Speaking to Deadline last month, Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s chief operating officer and CEO of Continental Europe, denied a merger was on the agenda.
“We never changed the name, incorporated the companies or canceled the brand or canceled the culture,” he said.