Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland Comes on Board Series with Global, TF1, and CBS
Sarah Greene, Brandon Jay McLaren, and Nazneen Contractor Join the Cast Alongside Luke Roberts
Production Underway in Toronto
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TORONTO, July 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Global independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), Big Light Productions, Sienna Films, and Wildcats Productions, in partnership with leading broadcasters Global (Canada), TF1 (France), CBS (US), and RTL (Germany) announce that production has begun in Toronto on the riveting new original drama Ransom. The 13-episode series starring Luke Roberts (Black Sails, Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones) as expert hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont is also set to film in France this fall.
Joining the cast as Beaumont's team are Tony Award-nominated Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful, Burnt) as Maxine Carlson, a young newcomer eager to prove herself; Brandon Jay McLaren (Graceland, The Killing, Chicago Fire) as Oliver Yates, a psychological profiler; and Nazneen Contractor (Heroes Reborn, Covert Affairs, 24) as ex-cop Zara Hallam.
"We are thrilled to get cameras rolling on Ransom. With our incredibly talented cast and crew and our fantastic broadcast partners Global, TF1, CBS, and RTL, we will deliver a gripping and addictive series to audiences around the globe," said John Morayniss, Chief Executive Officer, eOne Television.
"My partners at eOne, Sienna Films, and Wildcats Productions and I are incredibly excited to bring Ransom to life," said Frank Spotnitz, Chief Executive of Big Light Productions and Executive Producer. "We have a fascinating cast of characters, led by Eric Beaumont, and thrilling stories about saving lives in extraordinarily difficult situations."
"Ransom delivers the type of suspense, adrenaline, and strong storytelling that Global audiences expect and we're delighted to get production underway on this exciting new original series," said Maria Hale, Senior Vice President, Global Entertainment & Content Acquisition, Corus. "Together with our production partners eOne, Sienna Films, Big Light Productions, and Wildcat Productions along with our broadcast partners TF1, CBS, and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland we look forward to making this show a worldwide hit."
"We are very happy to be part of Ransom, a co-production with both incredible talent on the creative side and strong partners TF1, CBS, and Global on the network side. Ransom fits perfectly into our strategy to produce international procedural drama shows for our major channels RTL and VOX," Joerg Graf EVP, Production and International Acquisitions.
Ransom follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Roberts), whose team is brought in to save lives when no one else can. Eric understands criminals better than they do, and uses his insight into human behaviour to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, Eric refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While Eric's considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Is Eric being himself, or who he needs to be in order to get what he wants? It's often hard to tell the difference.
Ransom is inspired by the professional experiences of distinguished crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert. Laurent Combalbert and his partner, Marwan Mery, are among the top negotiators in the world. They travel the globe to help multinational corporations and governmental agencies with complex negotiations and conflict resolution.
Ransom is created by David Vainola (Diamonds, Combat Hospital) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, The Man in the High Castle). The series is executive produced by Spotnitz, Jennifer Kawaja, and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner; and Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions, who also brought the IP on which the show is inspired. Ransom has been co-developed by TF1 and Corus Entertainment Inc., with the participation of the Centre National du Cinema et de l'Image Animé in France as well as Canada Media Fund, and will be produced with the financial assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.
eOne controls worldwide rights to the series, excluding French-speaking territories.
About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company's diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.
Entertainment One's robust network includes film and television studio The Mark Gordon Company; content creation venture Amblin Partners with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; leading feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures; unscripted television production companies Renegade 83, Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning digital agency Secret Location.
The Company's rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 100,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks.
About the TF1 group
TF1 is an integrated media group with a mission to inform and entertain. As well as broadcasting TF1, France's most popular freeview television channel, the TF1 group offers a range of content and services to suit all media and devices.
TF1 is France's leading private-sector broadcasting group, with five freeview channels (TF1, LCI, TMC, NT1, HD1) and an innovative digital offering via MYTF1. The Group also broadcasts targeted special-interest channels (TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushuaïa and Serieclub) on pay-TV. Additionally, the TF1 group has interests in the production and distribution of content relating to its in-house channels. Through the acquisition of a majority interest in Newen Studios, the Group is aiming to accelerate international expansion of its production and distribution. Finally, the Group has built up a broad range of complementary businesses in areas such as home shopping, licencing, board and card games, production and live shows.
For more information, go to www.groupe-TF1.fr @GroupeTF1
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Global Television is a Corus Entertainment Network.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company's portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 45 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children's book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus' roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic Channel, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world's largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand — "the Eye" — one of the most recognized in business. The Company's operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS's businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group (CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.
About Big Light Productions
Award-winning American writer and producer Frank Spotnitz founded Big Light Productions Ltd. in 2013 to create and oversee a diverse slate of international television series including drama, comedy, and documentaries, and Big Light has since become one of the fastest-growing independent production companies in Europe. The London and Paris-based production company's projects include Ransom; the upcoming Medici: Masters of Florence with Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman; the upcoming comedy-drama series The Indian Detective with international comedian Russell Peters and CTV; the acclaimed Amazon drama series The Man in the High Castle; Crossing Lines Season 3, and Transporter: The Series Season 2 for U.S. and international markets. Spotnitz's 20+-year career in television includes creating, writing and producing series with networks, cable, streaming services, and other production companies all over the world. His credits also include eight seasons of the hit series The X-Files and its two feature films, Hunted, Strike Back, Night Stalker, Robbery Homicide Division, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm and Millennium. www.biglight.com
About Wildcats Productions
Born from a meeting between a French business woman in love with Canada, and a Canadian who fell in love with France; Wildcats is dedicated to the international coproduction of audiovisual content, as well as domestic production. Bringing her experience and knowledge of the international market, Valerie Pechels comes from a successful career in distribution where she was able to develop strong connections and relationships with international producers and distributors. Joining forces with her, Odile McDonald brings her 20 years of experience as a renowned producer to the company as well as her great reputation with broadcasters and talents. Ambition and professionalism are at the heart of Wildcats' creation as Valerie and Odile embarked on this new adventure in 2014, aiming at high quality international coproduction to deliver high profile series.
About Sienna Films
Helmed by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, Sienna Films is one of Canada's preeminent production companies. Currently in post-production is Cardinal, a serialized 6 X 1 hour detective series for Bell Media, starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. Previous television series include the 13-episode Combat Hospital for Shaw TV, ABC and Sony International, and Canada-South Africa mini-series Diamonds for CBC, ABC and Antennae with James Purefoy, Derek Jacobi and Judy Davis. The company also co-produced the Julian Fellowes-penned mini-series Titanic, a Canada-UK-Hungary co-production for ITV, Shaw Media and ABC. Sienna's feature films have been released internationally and opened at film festivals including Sundance, Toronto International, Berlin and Rotterdam. They include How She Move (Paramount Vantage/MTV Films); Touch of Pink (Sony Pictures Classics); New Waterford Girl (Alliance Atlantis); I, Claudia; Marion Bridge and Saint Monica. Recently completed is the Canada-Irish co-production Unless starring Catherine Keener.
About Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland
The Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is the leading German provider of video content.
In free-TV RTL, VOX, n-tv, RTL NITRO and RTL Plus as well as the shareholdings in SUPER RTL and RTL II have made the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland into the most successful private television broadcaster, while in the Pay-TV segment RTL Crime, Passion, RTL Living and GEO Television provide a complement to its channel offering. The Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has a presence on every kind of screen, from television to PCs/laptops and tablets, up to and including smartphones. Thanks to its video-on-demand platforms running under the brand name NOW its station content can also be accessed for time-shifted viewing. The Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland also has a stake in the internet with such video platforms as Clipfish, Comedyrocket or RTL Next. With its vast portfolio of channels and online offerings it address a broad spectrum of target groups - with one objective: to always strive to provide the best content available for each and every viewer. In this endeavor it is the expertise of its production units like infoNetwork and Norddeich TV that provide it with support. Its advertising sales house IP Deutschland puts at its ad clients' disposal the best imaginable portfolio available for advertising and marketing purposes. The company RTL interactive operates in the business areas of online/mobile/Teletext/IPTV, media services and licensing, developing new digital business opportunities for the entire Group. The broadcasting and productions operations as well as technical services are rendered for the Group by the company CBC. The shareholder of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland situated in Cologne is the RTL Group SA with its headquarters located in Luxembourg and whose majority shareholder is Bertelsmann.
SOURCE Corus Entertainment Inc.
For further information: Jessica Gold, Entertainment One Television, 416.646.2400 x 4147, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mario Tassone, Unit Publicist, email@example.com; Jacqui VanSickle, Senior Publicist, Global Television, 416-966-7261, firstname.lastname@example.org