FremantleMedia, Impossible Pictures ink exclusive deal

MUMBAI: FremantleMedia has inked a significant deal with leading UK independent producer, Impossible Pictures, the multi-award winning creators of the Walking With Dinosaurs series.

FremantleMedia's distribution and licensing arms - Fremantle International Distribution (FID) and FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide (FLW) respectively - are involved in a comprehensive deal for the keenly awaited, brand new six-part series Prehistoric Park, to be created by Impossible Pictures. Prehistoric Park is a co-production between ITV (UK), Animal Planet (US), M6 (France) and ProSieben (Germany).

Scheduled for delivery to the UK's ITV1 in 2006, Prehistoric Park will be one of the channel's most ambitious factual productions ever. As co-financers, FID has acquired the worldwide distribution rights (excluding France and Germany) to the series, adding the title to their ever increasing catalogue of top factual programming.

As part of the deal, FLW will handle the licensing rights to the series including DVD, merchandising and publishing rights.

Prehistoric Park is the very latest CGI-driven project from Impossible Pictures, featuring natural history frontman Nigel Marven. Impossible Pictures had a major success with Walking with Dinosaurs, which was a smash hit when it launched on the BBC in 2002 and went on to be a worldwide ratings winner.

Prehistoric Park will feature stunning scenery from some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places on earth - from history and today - as Marven is seen to travel back in time to rescue species before they die out and brings them into the 21st century. Working alongside historical experts and scientists, viewers will see Marven determine the bite-strength of a modern-day crocodile as well as that of its Cretaceous cousin. Marven's prehistoric charges will ultimately rub shoulders with the current inhabitants of a wildlife sanctuary with whom their habits and habitats will be compared.

Fremantle International Distribution MD David Ellender said, "Impossible Pictures is a valuable addition to FID's slate of top-end producers. The recognition they have earned for their incredible CGI-based programming is well-deserved and far-reaching. Prehistoric Park is an amazing and truly original concept, featuring an incredibly well respected and world-renowned expert in Nigel Marven. With a theme that is both timeless and of interest to all age groups, I anticipate a lot of interest in the show from global broadcasters."

FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide CEO Simon Spalding added, "Impossible Pictures are, without a doubt, one of the pre-eminent producers of high-end factual programming. We are very excited to have secured the licensing and merchandising rights for such a perennially collectable show."

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