Leonine’s Fred Kogel To Be Feted In Zurich; Million Dollar Islands Talpa Creates Adventure Reality Unit; RTL Accepts Dutch Networks Merger Is Off; Pluto TV Debuts In Australia — Global Briefs

Leonine’s Fred Kogel To Be Feted In Zurich

Leonine CEO Fred Kogel is to receive the Zurich Film Festival’s Game Changer Award, which has previously gone to executives including Pamela Abdy, Patrick Wachsberger, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. The Leonine boss will accept the award during the Zurich Summit industry conference on Sunday, October 1. Prior to setting up German studio Leonine, Kogel served as Head of Entertainment at ZDF and Managing Director of SAT1, where he was responsible for the station’s merger into ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. He was CEO of Constantin Film AG from 2003 – 2009, working on Oscar nominees including Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex. “Fred Kogel has built Leonine from the ground up, a new entertainment company for the digital age that brings together the most exciting artists and successful producers, allowing them to focus on their core strengths while the studio takes care of services such as HR, marketing and sales,” said Zurich Artistic Director Christian Jungen.

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‘Million Dollar Island’s Talpa Creates Adventure Reality Unit

Talpa, the Dutch unscripted indie behind Million Dollar Island, has launched an entire division dedicated to adventure reality formats. The John de Mol-owned company drafted in Geraldine Smink and Wim van Dam, both prominent European producers in the genre, to lead the unit. Smink has spent the last fifteen years as an executive producer for Strix/Monday Media focusing on factual, survival and reality shows, while van Dam has produced various adventure reality shows, including the Dutch version of Survivor, for a similar time period. Several adventure reality projects are set to be announced, including originals and productions resulting from creative partnerships. The first, which is currently unannounced, has just recorded in Africa and is set to air in 2024 in the Netherlands, on SBS6. Talpa co-created Million Dollar Island, which was set for an NBC remake before being shelved, with Smink’s former employer, Monday Media.

RTL & Talpa Network Accept Dutch Merger Is Off

European networks giant RTL Group yesterday confirmed its Dutch division will no longer pursue a merger with Talpa Network, another of de Mol’s operations, after local regulators kiboshed the merger in January. RTL Nederlands and Talpa have withdrawn an appeal over the ACM’s decision. For RTL, the episodes is a case of history repeating, after its French network M6’s proposed merger with TF1 suffered the same fate last year. We remain convinced that market consolidation is necessary to compete with the global tech platforms – and that market consolidation will happen in the European TV markets sooner or later.”

Pluto TV Debuts In Australia

Paramount Global’s Pluto TV has launched in Australia. The free streaming service has debuted 50 FAST (free advertiser-supported television) networks through a branded area on digital platform 10 Play, which is the digital platform of Paramount Australia & New Zealand-owned commercial network Network Ten. Included are channels dedicated to South Park, The Shores, I Love Lucy and Dynasty, reality TV, and Nickelodeon classics and cartoons. The channels will launch on August 31, with more content plans revealed before then. “These 50 Pluto TV channels represent our first step to engage with Australian audiences,” said Olivier Jollet, Executive Vice President and International General Manager for Pluto TV.

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