EXCLUSIVE: German major Leonine has rebranded its TV subsidiary Odeon Entertainment as Madame Zheng Production and appointed producer Tina Wagner as Managing Director as part of a restructure.
Madame Zheng, which will continue to specialize in factual/reality TV and documentaries, will be led by Wagner with Leonine’s Co-Head Of Entertainment Nina Etspüler also joining the management alongside Martin Schneider, Odeon Entertainment’s long-standing managing director.
Wagner was previously producer and executive producer of docutainment formats at German outfit RedSeven Entertainment. Her productions include Moms Make Porn, Kiss Bang Love, Five Senses For Love, which was nominated for the German Television Award, as well as Old People’s Home For Four Year-Olds and Married At First Sight, which won the German Television Award.
Nina Etspüler is Co-Head of Entertainment at Leonine Studios and Managing Director of i&u TV and Madame Zheng Production. Previously, she was Group Creative Director of Red Arrow Studios, responsible for global format and content development as well as acquisitions and international market launches. She also spent more than a decade at ProSieben and Sat.1, where she was responsible for multiple formats.
Schneider, who will also be Managing Director of Madame Zheng Production, previously headed Odeon Entertainment and has been responsible for the development and production of various non-fiction productions.
Fred Kogel, CEO and Co-Head of Entertainment at Leonine Studios, explained: “Ever since Nina Etspüler joined Leonine in January 2021, we have jointly pursued the goal of establishing a production brand that advocates for equality and diversity in front of and behind the camera, in order to firmly anchor these themes, which are essential for Leonine Studios, in the production market. The entertainment sector in Germany, in particular, has a lot of catching-up to do, which is why we want to consciously champion equality and diversity. I am very pleased that we can now put our plans into practice with such a distinguished and talented colleague as Tina Wagner. Madame Zheng Production perfectly complements our existing entertainment brands i&u TV and SEO Entertainment. In its entirety, Leonine Studios now covers an even broader spectrum within non-fiction production. This will generate further growth for our Leonine production division.”
Tina Wagner, Managing Director of Madame Zheng Production, added: “We want to create programs that appeal to everyone and don’t limit ourselves to specific genres or target audiences. Our main focus is to develop entertaining, value-driven and glamorous formats that are visually innovative, recognizable and unique. The new company name reflects our brand essence. Madame Zheng, the name of a legendary pirate, symbolizes for us a strong unconventional woman who is very successful at what she does. And that’s how we’re starting out now – ready to conquer the TV landscape. I’m very excited to embark on this journey with Nina Etspüler, Martin Schneider and our great, professional team as part of Leonine Studios.”
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