- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CALIFORNIA

‘Big Brother’ maker Endemol makes scripted TV push

LOS ANGELES | Endemol, the Dutch entertainment giant behind hit reality TV shows such as “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal,” said Wednesday that it is launching a division to produce and finance scripted TV shows in the United States for global distribution.

The company, bought by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Goldman Sachs for around $3.6 billion in 2007, is just getting into the scripted show business. Endemol USA developed an hourlong drama, “Hell on Wheels,” set to premiere on AMC on Nov. 6. Endemol has overseas distribution rights.

The launch of the new division, Endemol Studios, means that Endemol will now invest money in buying and producing shows, not just develop content while looking for other investors.

Endemol Studios represents a significant step in our ongoing strategy to expand and diversify our activities in North America at the same time helping fuel our global growth,” Endemol North America Chairman David Goldberg said.

The unit expects to focus on original dramas for cable TV channels in the U.S., as well as other shows adapted from its international portfolio.

NEW YORK

Reports: McGraw-Hill mulls education unit spinoff

NEW YORK | Published reports say McGraw-Hill Cos. has hired an investment bank to assist in a review that could lead to a spinoff of its textbook-publishing education business.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that McGraw-Hill hired Evercore Partners in March to study options for McGraw-Hill Education. The Journal cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The New York Times and Bloomberg News subsequently published similar reports, also citing anonymous sources.

Representatives of McGraw-Hill and Evercore Partners declined to comment to the Associated Press.

The reports said no final decisions have been made about the future of McGraw-Hill’s education business.

The Journal said McGraw-Hill has ruled out breaking up the education division, and that the focus has been on a possible separation of that business.

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