Fremantle buys Thom Beers’ Original Prods.

FremantleMedia, which produces American Idol, has acquired Original Productions, Thom Beers’ company that started with Monster Garage and is now best-known for producing the tough-guy reality shows such as Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers.

FremantleMedia paid “an estimated $50 million for a 75% stake in Original Prods.,” Variety reports. Beers will “continue as CEO” and “owns the remaining 25%.”

FremantleMedia had been distributing some of his series internationally, and its CEO, Tony Cohen, said “The kinds of programs that Thom makes all have enormous international potential. His shows are already very, very popular in a lot of countries, and they fit very well with the kind of programming that Fremantle makes.”

Original Prods. recently signed “separate deals with the Discovery and History channels that calls for the company to deliver a total of 101 hours of programming for the two outlets this year, including several new series,” Variety says. It’s also currently producing three reality shows for NBC (one already aired and bombed).

Fremantle picks up Original Prods. [Variety]
discussion by

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.