After several years working in the film business, with its Random House Films unit, Random House is getting into television. The publisher is partnering with TV production/distribution company FremantleMedia to develop scripted programs based on its books. Both companies are owned by Bertelsmann.
Random House Television, as the new division will be called, will be housed in the newly created Random House Studio group which also includes the film division. Both RH Studio and the film unit--to date, it has released two films, Reservation Road and One Day--will be run by Peter Gethers. The acquisition process for the TV unit will be similar to that of the film division: RH will work with its editors and authors, as well as the authors' agents, to acquire dramatic rights to titles. RH will also, it said, work on potential TV projects with authors, looking to "develop original scripted television properties they might create."
United Talent Agency brokered the partnership deal between RH Studio and FremantleMedia and, while Gethers will oversee the television division, the main point person, working out of Los Angeles, will be Jeffrey Levine. Levine, who was a development executive at Spring Creek Productions (and who also executive produced the HBO adaptation, Too Big to Fail), will report to Gethers.
Speaking to the new TV unit, Gethers said: "Random House Television is a natural extension of the partnership we already enjoy with our writers and will help them flourish in an increasingly complex, exciting, and interdependent global entertainment business. I'm thrilled to have Jeff on board with us, and with the opportunity to work with FremantleMedia in the U.S. and internationally."