Entertainment One (eOne) has secured a majority stake in independent production company Whizz Kid Entertainment.
The indie’s founder and CEO Malcolm Gerrie and Managing Director Lisa Chapman will remain in their current posts, reporting into Tara Long, Executive Vice-President of Alternative Television for eOne. The rest of the senior team also remains in place and will continue to focus on the development of original non-scripted entertainment programming with significant international appeal.
This marks the first UK-based TV prod co acquisition for eOne. It builds on the existing relationship between the two companies, who have been collaborating on a U.S. version of Ex On The Beach for MTV. As a result of this acquisition, the two companies will work on bringing existing Whizz Kid formats to the United States and eOne’s expansive US non-scripted slate to the UK market.
Launched in 2006, Whizz Kid Entertainment produces content across a range of genres including entertainment, factual entertainment, documentary, live events and music. Some of their better known productions include Ex On The Beach for MTV UK, Let’s Dance for BBC One and the Life on Screen specials for BBC Two. The indie has existing relationship with every major UK broadcaster (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky).
“Whizz Kid gives us a strong footing in one of the most creative markets in the world and is a great first step in our ambitious non-scripted global expansion strategy,” said eOne’s Tara Long. “Malcolm is a highly-respected industry executive with broad experience in the international market. We couldn’t be more excited to hit the ground running together with new series on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“From the first moment we met Tara and the eOne non-scripted team we knew there was a real chemistry. eOne is a major player on the world stage and I’m thrilled to partner with them on this next chapter of the Whizz Kid story”, commented Malcolm Gerrie, CEO of Whizz Kid Entertainment, “Our former partners Ingenious have been terrific from the very beginning and we thank them and Patrick McKenna for all their unwavering support”.
‘’The team at Whizz Kid always set the bar high creatively,’’ added Lisa Chapman, Managing Director, Whizz Kid Entertainment. ‘’Having already collaborated on Ex on the Beach with eOne in the US, we are now looking forward to creating even more ambitious and daring global entertainment formats.’’