EXCLUSIVE: Shine America has entered an exclusive, multi-year production partnership with Nigel Lythgoe Prods., the company of the executive producer of American Idol and exec producer/judge of So You Think You Can Dance. Under the pact, which starts January 1, Shine and Lythgoe will develop and produce new series for the global TV marketplace. “Nigel is clearly one of the world’s leading television producers, with an unmatched track record in TV programming both here in the U.S. and in the UK,” said incoming Shine America CEO Rich Ross. Added Elisabeth Murdoch, Chairman of Shine Group, “I have known and admired Nigel for a long time. The creative potential of our partnership is truly staggering and I am more than delighted to be able to be working with him.”
For the past decade, British-born Lythgoe has been based at 19 Entertainment (now CORE Media Group), since the company’s founder/former owner, American Idol creator Simon Fuller, brought him in as TV president in 2001 to help develop the concept for Idol. Last year, Lythgoe launched Nigel Lythgoe Prods. as a joint venture with 19. That joint venture will keep control over the company’s existing series, Opening Act on E! and Chance To Dance on Ovation, as well as all current development, while all future projects will go through Shine. (Shine International will handle international distribution of those future projects). Lythgoe is not severing ties with 19 — he remains executive producer on both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance for the foreseeable future. His hands-on involvement in the two series has been keeping him busy almost year-round, leaving little time for developing and producing new shows.
“I am thrilled to be teaming up with Shine to develop new shows for a global audience,” Lythgoe said. “We live in one world and need to create content for that market. I cannot think of a more exciting company to partner with in order to face that challenge.” The deal for Nigel Lythgoe Prods., which will continue to be based in Los Angeles, was brokered by ICM Partners and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.