CBS JOINS TF1 AND GLOBAL FOR 13 EPISODES OF ENTERTAINMENT ONE'S "RANSOM"
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO - June 6, 2016 - America's Most Watched Network CBS (US) has joined leading broadcasters TF1 (France) and Corus' Global (Canada) in greenlighting 13 episodes of the suspenseful drama series Ransom, starring Luke Roberts (Black Sails, Game of Thrones), from global studio Entertainment One (eOne), Big Light Productions and producers Sienna Films and Wildcats Productions. eOne controls worldwide rights to the series, excluding French-speaking territories.
Through his company Big Light Productions, Golden Globe(R) winning and Emmy(R) nominated screenwriter Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, The Man in the High Castle) will serve as an executive producer on the series. Created by David Vainola (Diamonds, Combat Hospital) and Spotnitz, Ransom is inspired by the professional experiences of distinguished crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert. Laurent Combalbert and his partner, Marwan Mery, are considered to be among the top negotiators in the world. Today, they travel around the globe to help multinational corporations and governmental agencies with complex negotiations and conflict resolution.
Ransom follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Roberts), whose team is brought in to save lives when no one else can. Eric understands criminals better than they do, and uses his insight into human behavior to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, Eric refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While Eric's considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Is Eric being himself, or who he needs to be in order to get what he wants? The difference is often hard to tell. The series begins with Eric taking on Maxine Carlson, a new member of the team eager to prove herself. But a dangerous secret from Maxine's past may pose a threat that even the great Eric Beaumont is unable to resolve.
"We are delighted to partner with CBS, TF1 and Global to bring Ransom to screens around the world," said John Morayniss, Chief Executive Officer, eOne Television. "We are especially grateful to the Wildcats team, who brought the IP on which the show is inspired, Sienna Films with whom we have a longstanding and successful relationship, and Frank Spotnitz whose talent and vast experience will ensure delivery of a top notch show."
"The world of crisis negotiation is incredibly compelling, as demonstrated by the fascinating real-life cases Laurent Combalbert has negotiated," said Frank Spotnitz, Big Light Productions. "Laurent has inspired a brilliant and complex character, and you can't help but be moved seeing all the lives he's saved around the world."
"As CBS continues to program year round, we are always looking for series that can fit seamlessly within our schedule and connect with our viewers," said Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment. "Ransom brings a compelling new approach to a character driven crime drama with a sense of urgency and closure in each episode."
"We are thrilled to announce this new TV Series with our talented partners" said Sophie Leveaux, Artistic Director, Head of International Development, Acquisitions and International Drama Development. "At TF1 we always want to offer compelling programming to our viewers and Ransom will be a great asset for our schedule."
"It's exciting to reunite with the talented teams at Sienna and eOne, and to expand our relationship with international broadcast partners TF1 and CBS on this powerful drama series," said Maria Hale, Senior Vice President, Global Entertainment & Content Acquisition, Corus. "From the moment we read the first script we were hooked by the gripping storyline and we're thrilled to work with Frank Spotnitz to bring it to life. We are proud to have co-developed Ransom, lead by the charismatic Luke Roberts, and look forward to sharing the series with Canadian audiences."
Roberts has been starring for 3 seasons as Wood Rogers on Starz' Black Sails. He trained at L.A.M.D.A. in London, and soon after graduating, appeared in Steven Spielberg's Band of Brothers before going on to star in the ITV series Crossroads. From 2005-2011, Roberts starred in the BBC Drama Holby City. His recent television credits include Taxi Brooklyn, Reign, The Dovekeepers, and Wolf Hall. In film, he has been seen in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, and starred in DRACULA: THE DARK PRINCE opposite Jon Voight. Roberts is represented by Silver Lining Entertainment, Paradigm and United Agents in the UK.
Ransom is a Canada-France treaty co-production and will be co-produced by eOne; Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner; and Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions; while Spotnitz via his Big Light Productions banner will executive produce. Ransom has been co-developed by TF1 and Shaw Media, with the participation of the Centre National du Cinema et de l'Image Animé in France as well as Canada Media Fund, and will be produced with the financial assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.
About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Spain, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Film and Television divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 40,000 film and television titles, 4,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
About the TF1 group
TF1 is an integrated media group with a mission to inform and entertain. As well as broadcasting TF1, France's most popular freeview television channel, the TF1 group offers a range of content and services to suit all media and devices.
TF1 is France's leading private-sector broadcasting group, with five freeview channels (TF1, LCI, TMC, NT1, HD1) and an innovative digital offering via MYTF1. The Group also broadcasts targeted special-interest channels (TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushua�a and Serieclub) on pay-TV. Additionally, the TF1 group has interests in the production and distribution of content relating to its in-house channels. Through the acquisition of a majority interest in Newen Studios, the Group is aiming to accelerate international expansion of its production and distribution. Finally, the Group has built up a broad range of complementary businesses in areas such as home shopping, licencing, board and card games, production and live shows.
For more information, go to www.groupe-TF1.fr @GroupeTF1
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Global Television is a Corus Entertainment Network.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company's portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 45 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children's book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus' roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY(R), Showcase, National Geographic Channel, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world's largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand - "the Eye" - one of the most recognized in business. The Company's operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS's businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group (CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.
About Big Light Productions
Award-winning American writer and producer Frank Spotnitz founded Big Light Productions Ltd. in 2013 to create and oversee a diverse slate of international television series including drama, comedy, and documentaries, and has since become one of the fastest-growing independent production companies in Europe. The London and Paris-based production company's projects include the Amazon drama series The Man in the High Castle, the upcoming Medici: Masters of Florence with Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman, Crossing Lines season 3, and Transporter: The Series season 2 for U.S. and international markets. Spotnitz's 20+-year career in television includes creating, writing, and producing series with networks, cable, streaming, and other production companies all over the world. His additional credits include The X-Files, Hunted, Strike Back, Night Stalker, Robbery Homicide Division, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm and Millennium.
About Wildcats Productions
Born from a meeting between a French business woman in love with Canada, and a Canadian who fell in love with France; Wildcats is dedicated to the international coproduction of audiovisual content, as well as domestic production. Bringing her experience and knowledge of the international market, Valerie Pechels comes from a successful career in distribution where she was able to develop strong connections and relationships with international producers and distributors. Joining forces with her, Odile McDonald brings her 20 years of experience as a renowned producer to the company as well as her great reputation with broadcasters and talents. Ambition and professionalism are at the heart of Wildcats' creation as Valerie and Odile embarked on this new adventure in 2014, aiming at high quality international coproduction to deliver high profile series.
About Sienna Films
Helmed by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, Sienna Films is one of Canada's preeminent production companies. Currently in post-production is Cardinal, a serialized 6 X 1 hour detective series for Bell Media, starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. Previous television series include the 13 episode Combat Hospital for Shaw TV, ABC and Sony International, and Canada-South Africa mini-series Diamonds for CBC, ABC and Antennae with James Purefoy, Derek Jacobi and Judy Davis. The company also co-produced the Julian Fellowes-penned mini-series Titanic, a Canada-UK-Hungary co-production for ITV, Shaw Media and ABC. Sienna's feature films have been released internationally and opened at film festivals including Sundance, Toronto International, Berlin and Rotterdam. They include How She Move (Paramount Vantage/MTV Films); Touch of Pink (Sony Pictures Classics); New Waterford Girl (Alliance Atlantis); I, Claudia; Marion Bridge and Saint Monica. Recently completed is the Canada-Irish co-production Unless starring Catherine Keener.