FremantleMedia North America has bought Penguin Random House’s Random House Studio and teamed with China’s Meridian Entertainment to produce movies and TV shows based on works by the publishers’ authors.
FMNA will handle TV productions while Meridian picks up theatrical. Random House Studio projects currently in the works — including unscripted TV shows in a deal with Jupiter Entertainment –will go to FMNA.
Random House Studio productions include Loving Day, from a book by Mat Johnson, that’s been sold as a series to Showtime, and a TV movie about Rachel Carson sold to HBO. The operation also is developing children’s shows based on the Junie B. Jones series written by the late Barbara Park.
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Jupiter is working on No God But God by Reza Aslan; The Knowledge, based on the book by Lewis Dartnell; and God Made Me Do It, from author Jonathan Merritt.
Feature films that Meridian will pick up include The Silent Land, based on a novel by Graham Joyce; Longbourn based on a novel by Jo Baker; and City Of Light, based on the nonfiction book Death In The City Of Light by David King.
“Our collective ambitions enable us to further harness the voice of the authors, engaging them in all stages of their adaptation and bringing their vision to every media platform worldwide,” FMNA co-CEO Craig Cegielski says.
Random House Studio GM Peter Gethers will continue to lead the operation, reporting to Cegielski. He will work with Meridian founder Jennifer Dong on movies, and remain Editor-at-Large at Penguin Random House. Random House Studio execs in Los Angeles will work out of the FMNA offices while those in New York will be based at Penguin Random House.
Dong calls the partnership “a breakthrough for Meridian’s global strategy and marks a milestone in our international expansion. Meridian has the determination, strength and ability to make full use of the rich and varied content that FremantleMedia and Random House Studio can provide and we will also explore the great potential of the vast Chinese market for our new partners.”
Gethers adds that his operation is now “a full-fledged studio, able to move in any direction that is appropriate to the material we find.”
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