Riding on Idol success, FremantleMedia sets up India ops

MUMBAI: Indian Idol delivered for Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and FremantleMedia is ecstatic. With record ratings for the final episode of the hit format, FremantleMedia has relocated its Asian head of production Gavin Wood to India.

Wood, who was earlier based in Singapore, will now become director of production in India. He will report to FremantleMedia director of operations (Asia) Patrick Schult and will be responsible for the production of all shows in the region including future series of Idols and The Apprentice (which will be aired on Star).


FremantleMedia is setting up a full-fledged production operation in India for the same. The decision comes after the phenomenal success of the first series of Indian Idol, which broke SET's ratings performance and got the show to the sixth spot on the ratings chart when the final episode on 5 March got ratings of 14.3.



"We have great expectations for our business in India. FremantleMedia's production of Indian Idol has set a new standard for quality, locally made programmes and with a slate of new shows in the pipeline for 2005, we felt it was an ideal opportunity to establish a fully-fledged production operation in this territory," Schult was quoted in a media report as saying.

Wood was based in Singapore since mid-2002 where he oversaw production across Asia, including such shows as Family Feud, The Price is Right, Small Talk, TXTC, Child's Play, Touch the Truck, Lyrics Board. He was also responsible for successfully rolling out Idol in four countries - India, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia last year.

Apart from Wood, FremantleMedia's Geetika will also be an integral part of the company's India operations. Both Geetika and Wood were unavailable for comment.


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