Partnership NBCUniversal International Television Production, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and TF1

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13th April 2015


NBCUniversal International Television Production,
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and TF1 enter ground-breaking partnership
to produce US procedural dramas


LONDON – 13 April 2015: NBCUniversal International Television Production (NBCU-ITVP), Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and TF1 today announce that they have entered into an international co-production partnership to produce original US-style TV procedural dramas, allowing these leading international broadcasters to secure a pipeline of high quality, US-style procedural content from NBCUniversal. It is the first time that European broadcasters have partnered with a major US media company for a deal of this nature.

This unique tripartite collaboration, conceived by Michael Edelstein, President of NBCU-ITVP, brings together leading international broadcasters – Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and TF1 – with a major US media company that produces world class content across multiple genres. The partnership is designed to produce up to three new dramas over two years and will benefit from NBCUniversal’s wealth of expertise in producing high-quality, long-running procedural dramas such as Law & Order and House.


Commenting on the partnership, Michael Edelstein said:

"Procedural drama is a highly popular TV format in the global marketplace due to its episodic, rather than serialized, format. This pioneering venture with RTL and TF1 has the ability to create a number of exciting new series and represents the bold approach of these forward thinking broadcasters. For the first time, our partners will have the opportunity to commission US procedural drama directly from a company with a proven track record of success in the genre."

Procedural drama is particularly valuable to European broadcasters who are able to schedule programs with far greater freedom – episodes can be stacked and aired out of sequence. Traditionally US studios have been the primary and most successful originators of procedural dramas; in the last few years, new procedural dramas have become scarce in the international market place. This venture will secure a pipeline of exciting new content.

JoAnn Alfano, NBCU-ITVP’s EVP of Scripted Programming, and her team in Los Angeles, will have responsibility for overseeing the day to day creative, including development and production for each project. The projects will be written, shot and cast in North America. The dramas will be developed to have broad international appeal, with each season comprising between 12 and 14 episodes. Production is targeted to begin in Spring 2016 for a fall/winter delivery.

Commenting on the opportunity, JoAnn Alfano added:

"There is an incredible talent pool of procedural writers and producers in the US. For some time now, they have had few outlets for their ideas. We look forward to working with the wealth of talent that exists in the US and developing the next generation of procedural drama hits."

All partners will have an active role in the co-production partnership. A dedicated Creative Board, led by Alfano, will direct editorial and greenlight decisions and will comprise: RTL’s Joerg Graf, EVP Productions & International Acquisitions; Bernd Reichart, CEO, Vox Television GMBH; as well as two executives from TF1; and, Michael Edelstein.

RTL and TF1 will own the rights in their territories (Germany and France respectively); and NBCUniversal will license the rights for the US and the rest of the world on behalf of the partnership. This long-term strategic relationship also includes a meaningful financial participation in success.

Joerg Graf, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s EVP Productions and International Acquisitions, commented:

"NBCUniversal and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland have enjoyed an outstanding track record that includes tremendous hit shows such as "House M.D.", a long-running hit on German TV. NBCU and Mediengruppe RTL have recently closed a long-term output deal that guarantees RTL and its affiliates the broadcasting rights to such tentpole feature films as "50 Shades of Grey" and exclusive access to some of the most highly sought-after TV shows on the market. We have negotiated this new form of collaboration because we are both firmly convinced that now the time is right to take the next step – which means to develop and produce procedural drama shows with strong, proven partners particularly for the European free TV market. This will give Mediengruppe RTL not only the opportunity to produce tailor-made formats for our national markets in Europe but also allows us to secure the entire scope of rights for these programs for all forms of distribution."

Nonce Paolini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TF1, said:

"I am delighted with this new partnership with Universal. Based on the sharing of skills between our teams, it will enable us to propose series that more closely target the expectations of French TV viewers. From a business perspective, the partnership will, in the medium term, increase the profitability of our programs and allow TF1 to benefit from exclusive operating rights in France as well as from the financial impact of their distribution worldwide."


Media Enquiries:


On behalf of NBCU-ITVP
Redleaf Polhill

Emma Kane/Rebecca Sanders-Hewett/ Jenny Bahr

T: +44 (0) 20 7382 4747


Mobile: +44 (0) 7876 338339


On behalf of RTL

Claus Richter

Tel: +49 221 456-74247

E :


On behalf of TF1

Maylis Carcabal

T: +33 (1) 41414923




About NBCUniversal International Television Production

Michael Edelstein is President of NBCUniversal International Television Production and an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning TV producer (Desperate Housewives). He has a natural affinity for procedural dramas having been instrumental in the initial launch and whilst an executive at CBS had creative oversight of the global phenomenon CSI (Crime Scene Investigation).

He joined NBCUniversal International Television Production in June 2010; under his leadership the division has become a leader in producing English language content. NBCU-ITVP owns a portfolio of highly respected production companies, including: Carnival Films, creators of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama sensation Downton Abbey; Monkey Kingdom, which produces Channel 4’s hit UK reality series, Made in Chelsea; factual entertainment label Chocolate Media, makers of The 21st Question for ITV; Lucky Giant, which specializes in comedy and produced Christopher Guest comedy Family Tree, starring Chris O’Dowd for both BBC2 and HBO; and Australian-based Matchbox Pictures, makers of critically-acclaimed drama series The Slap and Real Housewives of Melbourne.

Additionally, NBCU International Television Production operates a joint television production venture with Working Title Television, owns an equity stake in LARK Productions in Canada (Motive), has a first look deal with Hardy Son & Baker and has established Tellycopter, a research and development resource that sits alongside its production companies. It also operates a prolific global formats business.

JoAnn Alfano is an Emmy Award winning producer who joined NBCUniversal International in October 2013. Her credits as an executive producer include: Resurrection (ABC), 30 Rock (NBC) and Project Runway (Lifetime), and the development and production of Will & Grace, Homicide: Life on the Street, ED, Profiler, Scrubs and Fresh Prince of Bel Air (NBC).

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About Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is one of Germany’s leading media companies. Its six television channels alone reach an average 60 million people in Germany. They include the free-to-air channels RTL Television, VOX, N-TV and RTL NITRO and holdings in RTL II and Super RTL. The group’s portfolio also includes the four digital thematic channels RTL Crime, Passion, RTL Living and Geo Television. Free-to-air TV is the group’s core business, but its strong TV brands are also available online or on mobile devices. Its interactive and transaction-based lines of business beyond traditional television are grouped under the umbrella of a subsidiary, RTL Interactive. Central functions within the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland are handled by the marketing agent IP Deutschland, the news and magazine company Info Network, and the broadcasting and production company CBC (Cologne Broadcasting Center).

Joerg Graf is Executive Vice President Productions and Acquisitions of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. He is responsible for the Groups entire domestic productions like non-scripted, shows or drama and responsible for US Major Output Deals, Independent Feature Film Acquisitions and Co-Productions.

Bernd Reichart is CEO of VOX Television and member of the Executive Board at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland


About TF1

TF1 (NYSE Euronext Paris: FR0000054900 / TFI) is an integrated communication group whose remit is to inform and entertain. Producer of France’s leading free-to-air television channel, the TF1 group proposes an offering adapted to all media.

TF1 is the leading private audiovisual group in free-to-air television in France. The Group’s four complementary free-to-air channels, TF1, TMC, NT1 and HD1, together claimed an average audience share of 28.7% in 2014.

The Group is strengthening this leadership position by adapting to the new ways in which viewers are consuming content. It has developed a powerful digital offering so as to reach all audiences across all fixed and mobile platforms. The TF1 group attracts the greatest number of web users of any French television player with its online video platform, MYTF1.

The Group also produces top-quality theme channels in pay-TV – Eurosport, LCI, TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushuaïa – that meet the specific needs of viewers.

TF1’s Advertising Department harnesses this class-leading offering to enable advertisers to combine the broad audiences of its television channels with the benefits of personal digital media. The Group also sells advertising space in the free newspaper Metronews, on the Indés Radio radio stations, on a range of television channels external to the TF1 group, and on a number of websites.

More broadly, the Group’s businesses span the entire value chain in the broadcasting sector, from audiovisual and film production to DVD publishing, video on demand and music CDs.

The TF1 group has also created a wide range of merchandising spin-offs from its main channel, including home shopping, licences and the production of live shows.

Lastly, the Group has committed to a social responsibility policy. It is firmly convinced that this policy will serve to drive competitiveness. The initiatives led by the Group are fuelled by dialogue with stakeholders with a view to ensuring action over the long term and earning the trust of the public.

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