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30/03/2009

FME Announces First Look Deal With Shameless Creator Paul Abbott

FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has announced that they have confirmed a first look deal with multi-award-winning writer, creator and producer Paul Abbott.
The three-year deal was brokered by FremantleMedia Enterprises and gives FME first options on international television and DVD rights for IP created by Abbott's new company, Abbott Vision.
Abbott is one of the most in-demand writers with a track record of creating, writing and producing a string of highly successful award-winning dramas over the years including Cracker, Touching Evil, Reckless, Clocking Off, Linda Green, Shameless and State of Play, the last of which is about to be released as a major Hollywood feature film starring Russell Crowe.
Less than a year old, Abbott Vision was set up to develop and produce ideas for returning, long-form series, accelerate the turnaround from idea to script and to work with carefully selected writers.
One of the most compelling aspects of Abbot Vision is the unique approach to writing and creating new ideas inspired by the 'team writing' approach successfully pioneered in the US many years ago.
David Ellender, of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said: "Working with Paul presented us with a rare and fantastic opportunity to collaborate with one of Britain's greatest talents. His objectives for Abbott vision and ours as an international distributor are perfectly attuned and we believe that this year especially broadcasters are looking for content from established and proven talent."
Abbott Vision already has a 17 hour commitment from BBC across various titles created as returnable formats, as well as specifically focused development commission from Laura Mackie's ITV team.
Abbott commented on the deal: "I'm delighted to be working with FME, their approach to project development is spot on and their connections internationally are second to none."
He added that his excitement about a deal with FME comes from "knowing that their high standards and experience in international sales can only magnify our determination to achieve excellence and imaginative new drama for the world market.
"Too many industry people are reacting to the economic situation by diving for their emergency media survival manuals. That's the opposite of where I stand. It's wrong, it's destructive and it will force creative talent into a tailspin. We must aim above and beyond the self-fulfilling-prophecists and leave them behind where they belong.
"Exceptional ideas cost the same to develop as a polished turd. We should all be investing in imagination now. It's a lot more fun and it's the only credible asset that can rescue the screen drama industry."
The relationship with Abbott Vision is the latest in a series of deals for FME which include first look arrangements with Origin, the production company established by industry heavyweight and former head of BBC Films David Thompson; Sally Head Productions, the prestigious company behind Fanny Hill; and entertainment powerhouse TXTV whose executives' CVs include the BBC series Mistresses and the hugely successful ITV1 serial Torn.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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