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Fremantlemedia acquires majority stake in Australian drama firm

MUMBAI: Television format creator and distributor FremantleMedia has acquired a majority stake in the brand new Australian drama company Easy Tiger Productions.

The high-end scripted indie will be led by the globally-respected producer Ian Collie, who will take up the position of managing director.

Fremantlemedia said that Collie co-founded Essential Media in 2006 and rapidly built its drama division into one of Australia’s foremost creators and producers of scripted content, attracting some of the best writing, directing and acting talent in the country.

Collie will be joined in the new company by executives Rachael Turk and Tanya Phegan, formerly of Essential Media. In addition to the creation of new drama content, Collie’s scripted projects currently in development at Essential Media will be transferred to Easy Tiger Productions, as will its slate of past drama series such as ‘Rake’, ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘Jack Irish’ and the four-part drama ‘The Sunshine Kings’, recently commissioned by SBS.

Easy Tiger Productions board will include FremantleMedia COO, CEO emerging markets Sangeeta Desai; director of global drama Sarah Doole and regional CEO Australia, Asia Pacific Ian Hogg.

Doole said, “Our ambition is to work with the best scripted talent in the world to tell bold and impactful stories, and Easy Tiger ticks all of those boxes. Ian and his team have been responsible for a number of ambitious titles with global success, and their upcoming slate includes a range of storylines on the forefront of originality that will perfectly complement the series coming from FremantleMedia’s growing family of prime-time drama producers.”

Collie said, “The team at Easy Tiger is renowned for it’s high production values, creative rigour and talent friendliness. Joining the vastly experienced FremantleMedia group provides Easy Tiger with the opportunity to build on its reputation as a boutique yet high-end production company, from the development phase right through to distribution.”