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Script competition

eOne acquires Blackfin

Transatlantic production and distribution group Entertainment One (eOne) has acquired US-based unscripted producer Blackfin.

Geno McDermott

Blackfin founder and CEO Geno McDermott has been appointed president of US alternative programming – unscripted television for eOne as part of the deal. The agreement was announced today by eOne’s president of global unscripted television, Tara Long, to whom McDermott will report.

The acquisition continues eOne’s global expansion of its non-scripted business, adding to its purchase earlier this summer of UK-based Daisybeck Studios and the recent appointments of Matt Pritchard and Matt Walton as executive VPs of unscripted television, based in London.

Founded in 2014, Blackfin’s slate ranges from the international hunt for Pablo Escobar’s hidden fortune in Finding Escobar’s Millions, to true crime series and specials I Am Homicide, Homicide City, Primal Instinct and Bad Henry, for commissioners including Discovery, ID, History, Netflix, Nat Geo and Animal Planet.

It has also worked on feature docs including My Perfect World: The Aaron Hernandez Story.

Long said: “As our global unscripted television business has rapidly expanded, we are eager to bring Geno’s entrepreneurial hustle to the eOne team. I am excited to have Geno’s focus, drive and business acumen as part of our arsenal to continue building the future of eOne’s unscripted slate.”

Under Long, eOne’s current unscripted partner network includes Emmy-nominated producers Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez’s Creature Films, Matthew Anderson and Nate Green’s Purveyors of POP, Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley’s Marwar Junction Productions, David Solomini and Philip Segal’s Crush+Lab and Simon Howley and Jon-Barrie Waddell’s UK-based Fired Up Films.

ACF advised Blackfin and McDermott on the sale to eOne. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The move follows the surprise buyout of eOne by US toy giant Hasbro for US$4bn last month.

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