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03/10/2007

Waddell Media Ink New Deal With Fremantle Media Enterprises

One of Ireland’s biggest independents, Waddell Media (WM), producers of the Discovery US hit series 'Future Weapons', has just signed a major development deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME).
The package, for a series of factual projects for the international market, is being matched by Northern Ireland Screen through its regional Programme Development Fund. Its contribution takes the total investment well into six figures.
WM is further nurturing its ongoing relationship with FME and will be developing and delivering treatments, taster tapes and pilots for sale into the UK, US and international markets.
This is the third development deal that has been struck over the years between the two companies. FME already distributes WM shows, including the A&E Films/ Channel Five (in the UK) documentary: Life After Baywatch. They are currently working together on a diverse range of co-productions spanning the fields of science and technology, green issues, architecture, design and food.
A dedicated team of development producers, directors and researchers has been assembled by WM's creative director, Jon-Barrie Waddell, with filming due to take place imminently in the UK and North America. In return, FME will have first option to acquire the distribution rights to projects in production.
“We are currently building on our reputation as a key supplier of exciting new shows to the US market. Working with FME has opened a lot of doors for us," said Waddell. “Our valued relationships with Discovery and National Geographic continue to grow and we are now developing shows for a wide range of networks in the US."
Waddell Media is considering expanding its operation and there are plans for the company to set up a US office in the near future.
“We are delighted to be supporting Waddell Media’s development slate," said Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen. "It is a real tribute to the team at Waddell’s that an international distributor like FME wants to invest in their ideas off the page."
Mark Gray, VP Programming at FME said: “We are very pleased to have signed this development deal with Waddell Media. We feel the company has lots of original ideas, a dedicated and lively team and a bright future. Shows like Future Weapons and Life After Baywatch have set the company apart in a crowded market place and we are excited about their next offerings.”
Waddell Media will be at MIPCOM 2007 as part of the UK Indies Pavilion on Stand LR4.15, The Lerins Hall.
(DS)
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