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Fremantle walks on Wildside

FremantleMedia has acquired the Italian production company behind upcoming Sky, HBO and Canal+ drama The Young Pope, starring Jude Law.

Eight-part series The Young Pope is in production

Wildside’s eight-part series The Young Pope is in production

Wildside is active in feature films and TV, producing two seasons of the Italian version of In Treatment and the Sky Italia drama 1992.

Based in Rome, the company was founded in 2009 by producers Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, script writers and directors Marco Martani, Fausto Brizzi and Saverio Costanzo following the merger of their Wilder and Offside production companies.

Financial terms were not disclosed but FremantleMedia gains a 62.5% stake in the business with the option to acquire the remainder further down the line.

The RTL Group-owned company’s distribution arm recently secured exclusive international distribution rights to The Young Pope, a copro for HBO, Sky and Canal+ starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton about the early life of pontiff Pius XIII. The eight part series is now in production.

“This is a key strategic acquisition for FremantleMedia as we continue to strengthen our primetime scripted presence,” said FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “Wildside is fast becoming one of Europe’s most sought after drama producers and will complement our existing primetime drama businesses in the US, Germany, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, Australia and the UK.”

FremantleMedia has scored success recently with its German Cold War thriller Deutschland 83, picked up by AMC’s SundanceTV in the US, where it’s also working on an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods for Starz. Its US remake of French supernatural drama The Returned with Carlton Cuse for A&E was cancelled, however.

The company has been beefing up is scripted activities and the Wildside acquisition follows the firm taking a 25% stake in UK start-up Corona TV in January and a majority share of Danish drama indie Miso Film in 2013.

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