FremantleMedia signs The Drivers

Firm to produce and distribute series based on the 24-hour motor race in Le Mans in the 1950?s/1960?s.
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This news comes after last week’s announcement of FME’s plans to elevate its drama offering to finance and package English language European drama series for the U.S. market as well as the rest of the world.

As part of its strategy to offer funding to new dramas, FME plans to fund and package The Drivers in Europe and then sell it into the US and internationally.

“We are putting significant resources behind our aggressive global drama push. In addition to The Drivers, we have many projects in development and are currently looking for more,” stated David Ellender, Global CEO, FME.

“The Drivers is an exciting property with true transatlantic appeal that lends itself to our expertise in extending brands to their full potential across multiple platforms.”

Mark Sennet, CEO of Sennet Entertainment, added: “The motor car racing scene in the 50’s and 60’s was raw, sexy and dramatic, with life and death always hanging in the balance.

“Working on the international stage with FME and Headline to produce this auspicious series is inspiring for Sennet Entertainment and we hope this will be the first of many projects with these partners.”

Stewart Mackinnon, CEO of Headline Pictures said: “The Le Mans race is one of the greatest sporting events in history.

"Headline is thrilled to be producing this major drama series in partnership with FME and Sennet Entertainment, and is the first of a number of ambitious global projects which we will be announcing over the coming months.”

The Drivers deal was brokered by Shane Murphy, FME’s head of acquisitions and development for the UK, Stewart Mackinnon, CEO of Headline Pictures, and David Davoli of the Davoli Law Firm.

FME also today announced that it will be entering a first look deal with Headline Pictures in London and with Sennet Entertainment in the US to develop a slate of long form content.

The Drivers will be co-produced by Mark Sennet Entertainment and Headline Pictures. The series is to be based on the book, Shelby: The Man,The Cars, the Legend, written by Wallace A.Wyss which was optioned from Iconografix.

Today’s news follows the appointment announcement of Nathalie Drouaire who will lead the development of an English language international co-financed drama slate working with Jeff Tahler, SVP, development and acquisitions in the US, FME teams in the UK and third party producers in the UK, Europe and US. FME will also unveil new drama series at MIPCOM 2010.

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