Sony Pictures Television Acquires Michael Davies' Embassy Row
Sony Pictures Television - 01/14/2009
Sony Pictures Television has purchased Michael Davies' television and digital company, Embassy Row, further expanding their production and distribution of non-fiction programming, it was announced today by Steve Mosko, president, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and Michael Davies.
Under the agreement, Embassy Row will bring formats to the United States, create new formats to distribute globally and take advantage of the vast resources in the Sony Pictures library. Building on its recent acquisition of 2waytraffic, the studio will expand its global format business, with Davies and Embassy Row providing key creative auspices.
"Michael is an incredibly savvy producer who was an architect of the alternative series business. He has a unique understanding of formats and how to make these shows work in network, cable and syndication." said Mosko. "This is the perfect acquisition at the perfect time."
"Embassy Row has enjoyed its three best and most profitable years ever under our overall deal with SPT," said Davies. "Steve Mosko, Zack Van Amburg, Jamie Erlicht, Holly Jacobs and everyone at Sony have been excellent partners so naturally, we are delighted to become a full member of the Sony family. We are fully committed to growing our television and digital businesses at the studio."
Embassy Row will remain intact in its two downtown New York offices. Its 17 employees and dozens of freelancers will be led by Davies and a newly constituted executive team headed by production veteran, Tammy Johnston, former ABC Business Affairs executive, Michael Erlinger and Davies' longtime creative partner, Jen Kelly. Former Sony Music Entertainment executive, Stephanie Masarsky, will continue to run Embassy Row's groundbreaking digital business.
Embassy Row's new executive structure will free Davies to focus his energy on the creation and production of new television formats. Furthermore, Davies, along with Embassy Row's VP International Development and Acquisitions, Madelene Hansson, will have more time to scour the world for the next great formats and producers.
Embassy Row is currently in production on two television series with SPT - "The Newlywed Game" for GSN and "Make My Day," a hidden-camera comedy format from Monkey in the UK, for TV Land. In addition, they are producing six pilots/specials for various broadcast and cable networks including "Fashionality," a pop culture and fashion panel show for Bravo, and "Hogs and Heifers," a docu-series for Oxygen.
Through Embassy Row's collaboration with acclaimed chef, Bobby Flay and producer, Kim Martin, Rock Shrimp Productions is producing three series for Food Network, including "Grill It! With Bobby Flay" and "Dear Food Network."
Embassy Row's digital business is spearheaded by the Pepsi funded "POPTUB," a daily entertainment format on YouTube that is syndicated across the internet.
Davies remains Executive Producer on the US version of 2waytraffic's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and on ABC's "Wife Swap."
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN and is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile and manages the studio's video website, Crackle.com. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony BMG and for the Tennis Channel, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
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