WME has signed John de Mol’s Talpa Media, the production company behind such global unscripted formats as The Voice, Utopia, I Love My Country, and Dating In The Dark. In total, Talpa has created over 100 shows programmed in 180 countries. Last year Talpa was acquired by ITV Studios for $530 million in cash in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.2 billion.
While Talpa has collaborated with talent agencies on packaging specific projects, WME is the first agency to represent the company as a whole.
Talpa’s best known format, The Voice, has been successfully adapted in the U.S. by NBC. Its spinoff, The Voice Kids, has 31 local versions and was recently commissioned in the UK by ITV network, which took over the mothership series from the BBC. Some of the other Talpa series include game shows Divided and The Big Picture, dance competition Dance, Dance, Dance and talent show The Puppetshow, which launched successfully in Holland, where Talpa Media’s headquarters are based, last year and recently sold to Germany and France.
Before launching Talpa in 2005, Dutch media tycoon de Mol co-founded Endemol and created Big Brother, Fear Factor, and Deal or No Deal.
“With WME’s extensive, strong relationships within the Hollywood community, we are looking forward to collaborating together on all our current and future projects,” said Jay Bienstock, CEO, Talpa Media USA.
Talpa Media, which is a separate business unit within ITV Studios, comprises Talpa Netherlands and Talpa Global. Talpa Netherlands consists of Talpa Content, the group’s in-house creative development unit for television formats, and Talpa Productions, the group’s TV production unit that produces the shows for The Netherlands. Talpa Global includes several production companies, LA-based Talpa Media USA, Talpa Middle East, headquartered in Dubai, as well as Talpa Germany with offices in Berlin and Hamburg.