FremantleMedia North America Acquires Random House Studio


BURBANK: FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is acquiring Random House Studio, formerly part of trade book publisher Penguin Random House.

FMNA has entered into a partnership with China-based Meridian Entertainment. FMNA will oversee all TV adaptations from Random House Studio, while Meridian will operate and grow the studio’s theatrical slate. The new partnership will give Meridian full access to develop, finance and produce Random House Studio’s theatrical projects.

Peter Gethers will continue to lead the Random House Studio division as executive VP and general manager, reporting into Craig Cegielski, co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America, and working with Jennifer Dong, founder and chairman of Meridian Entertainment, on the theatrical slate. Gethers will also continue his role as editor-at-large for Penguin Random House.

All projects currently in development or production with Random House Studio will move over with the company to FMNA, including Random House Studio’s ongoing relationship with Jupiter Entertainment in unscripted television. Current projects with Jupiter include No God but God by Reza Aslan; The Knowledge, based on the book by Lewis Dartnell; and God Made Me Do It, being developed with the author Jonathan Merritt. Ongoing scripted projects in development and production at Random House Studio include Loving Day, based on the book by Mat Johnson, sold as a half-hour series to Showtime; a television movie about the life of Rachel Carson sold to HBO; What Remains, an original script by Ryan Scott; and Team Life, an original script by Tracey Jackson. In children’s programming, the team is developing the series of Junie B. Jones books, written by the late Barbara Park and being adapted by Allison Gregory.

Cegielski said, “Peter Gethers and the entire team at Random House Studio are literary visionaries, and the adroit Jennifer Dong and her team at Meridian have built a vibrant company that is well-positioned globally. 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.”

Dong added, “It is a great privilege to establish such a close partnership with FremantleMedia and their Random House Studio. FremantleMedia is one of the world’s most successful creators and producers of original television programming and entertainment brands, reaching into more than 50 countries. This partnership is 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. We look forward to working closely with co-CEOs Craig Cegielski, Jennifer Mullin and their team at FremantleMedia North America, as well as their team within Random House Studio, led by Peter Gethers. We cannot wait to provide the global audience with more films that mirror the enormous range of critically acclaimed content under their purview.”

Gethers said, “The Random House Studio team has been working with the current team at FMNA for two years now. Thanks to their creativity and support, it has been a perfect partnership. I am thrilled that we will now be a part of that team, allowing us to work even closer together and helping us grow. We’re thrilled that FMNA has found such an accomplished strategic partner in Meridian Entertainment to oversee our theatrical output and take us to new heights. Led by the extraordinary Jennifer Dong, Meridian has proven to be the innovative partners we’ve been looking for. Random House Studio is now truly a full-fledged studio, able to move in any direction that is appropriate to the material we find.”