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Banijay UK acquires Znak TV, appoints founder as Remarkable, Initial CEO

Banijay UK has acquired format specialist prodco Znak TV and appointed its founder Natalka Znak as CEO of its Remarkable Entertainment and Initial labels to create a new unscripted group.

Natalka Znak

Known worldwide for creating formats including Hell’s Kitchen, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Love Island, Znak will continue to run Znak TV in the US while also leading Remarkable Entertainment and Initial.

The Remarkable and Initial slates include shows such as Pointless, Starstruck, The Wall, Soccer Aid, Tenable and Big Brother.

As CEO across all three companies, Znak will take a strategic role and continue to pitch to broadcasters and platforms on both sides of the Atlantic, Banijay said this afternoon.

Her most recent credits include Masquerade Ball, Ultimate Tag, Revolution and Meghan Markle: An American Princess for Fox; 30 Days With: Bret Rock for YouTube; and Netflix hit I am a Killer. Znak is also the long-running co-showrunner of MasterChef US and MasterChef Jr for Fox.

Reporting to Lucinda Hicks, CEO of Banijay UK, Znak will take up the role at the end of the year.

Remarkable Entertainment’s senior team, including creative directors Cat Lawson, Tamara Gilder and Richard Hague, will now report to Znak. Co-MDs Cat Lynch and Katy Manley will continue to run Initial, also reporting to Znak.

At Remarkable, she will work closely with Kitty Walshe, the recently appointed CEO of Remarkable Factual and subsidiary prodco RDF.

Hicks said: “Natalka is utterly unique. No one has a track record of entertainment hits like her and, combined with her razor-sharp commercial acumen and fantastic relationships in both the UK and US, she is an incredibly exciting appointment for Remarkable and Banijay UK.

“We have hugely talented teams within both Remarkable Entertainment and Initial. Bolstered by Natalka’s dynamic leadership, new ideas and relationships, we are really supersizing our entertainment ambitions.”

Znak added: “I am incredibly excited to work with all the talented people at Remarkable and Initial. Together, I know we will create TV’s next big hits. And Banijay also has all my favourite shows in their formats catalogue. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Earlier in her career, Znak was chief creative officer and then CEO of Zodiak USA, where she produced shows such as ABC duo Secret Millionaire and Celebrity Wife Swap, plus truTV hits Hardcore Pawn, Lizard Lick Towing and Killer Karaoke.

Prior to joining Zodiak, she was controller of factual entertainment for ITV Studios, creating I’m Celebrity Get… Me Out of Here!, Hell’s Kitchen and Love Island during her tenure.

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