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FremantleMedia Enterprises unveils new series development with Headline Pictures and Sennet Entertainment

FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), the commercial and brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, today announced that it has optioned the rights to produce and distribute THE DRIVERS, a series based on the high-octane 24 hour motor race in Le Mans in the 1950s/1960s, as part of its global drama strategy.

This news is on the heels of last week’s announcement of FME’s plans to elevate its drama offering to finance and package English language European drama series for the U.S. market as well as the rest of the world. As part of its strategy to offer funding to new dramas, FME plans to fund and package THE DRIVERS in Europe and then sell it into the U.S and internationally.

“We are putting significant resources behind our aggressive global drama push. In addition to THE DRIVERS, we have many projects in development and are currently looking for more,” stated David Ellender, Global CEO, FME. “THE DRIVERS is an exciting property with true transatlantic appeal that lends itself to our expertise in extending brands to their full potential across multiple platforms.”

“The motor car racing scene in the 50s and 60s was raw, sexy and dramatic, with life and death always hanging in the balance,” said Mark Sennet, CEO of Sennet Entertainment. “Working on the international stage with FME and Headline to produce this auspicious series is inspiring for Sennet Entertainment and we hope this will be the first of many projects with these partners.”

“The Le Mans race is one of the greatest sporting events in history,” said Stewart Mackinnon, CEO of Headline Pictures. “Headline is thrilled to be producing this major drama series in partnership with FME and Sennet Entertainment, and is the first of a number of ambitious global projects which we will be announcing over the coming months.”

THE DRIVERS deal was brokered by Shane Murphy, FME’s Head of Acquisitions and Development for the U.K., Stewart Mackinnon, CEO of Headline Pictures, and David Davoli of the Davoli Law Firm who represented Sennet Entertainment (K Street and Dr. Vegas). FME also today announced that it will be entering a first look deal with Headline Pictures in London and with Sennet Entertainment in the U.S. to develop a slate of long form content.

THE DRIVERS will be co-produced by Mark Sennet Entertainment and Headline Pictures. The series will be based on the book, “Shelby: The Man,The Cars, the Legend” written by Wallace A.Wyss which was optioned from Iconografix. It will tell the true story of wild young drivers from the US, Germany, France, Italy and Britain, friends and rivals, amateurs risking everything for a shot on the tracks. It’s the rise and fall of iconic Enzo Ferrari, the power games going on behind closed doors, and above all an unexplored side of the 1950s and 60s.

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Headline Pictures · July 21, 2010

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