EXCLUSIVE: CORE Media Group, which co-produces American Idol, is expanding its unscripted portfolio by acquiring an ownership stake in Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher’s B17 Entertainment. Under the agreement, signed in a competitive situation with multiple suitors pursuing Bachner and Meagher, CORE will join forces with the duo to develop and produce non-fiction programming and explore multi-platform content opportunities, including mobile games and web-based series. “B17 is a forward thinking production company and teaming up with them fits perfectly into CORE’s overall mission of  producing and owning great content for all platforms,” said CORE president Marc Graboff, while the company’s head of U.S. Television Jen O’Connell called B17 “part of the next generation of great prod companies.””They’re prolific, and they have such great ideas that are inventive and fresh,” she said. At CORE, Bachner and Meagher join unscripted producer Rob Lee, who signed a deal there a year ago, Matt Sharp, whose company CORE acquired last summer, as well as Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, whose Hazy Mills Prods. has a deal with CORE for scripted, unscripted and digital projects that fall outside of their deal at NBC. Additionally, CORE recently launched a scripted venture with Noreen Halpern and has Simon Shaps building its international base.

Bachner and Meagher are producers on ABC’s Emmy-nominated Shark Tank. They also executive produce The Pitch for AMC, Be The Boss for A&E, Real Deal for History, and the upcoming Supermarket Superstar for Lifetime. Bachner previously served as executive producer on The Henry Rollins Show for IFC, and co-executive producer on Losing It With Jillian for NBC. Meagher worked as a development executive for Mark Burnett Prods., where he was Co-Executive Producer on Shark Tank and Expedition Impossible and also worked on The Apprentice. Bachner and Meagher are represented by CAA and attorney Sean Marks.