SANTA MONICA, CA, May 9, 2012 — Continuing the diversification of its highly successful television business, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, is partnering with television and music entrepreneur and producer Simon Fuller to develop a contemporary television musical drama chronicling the lives and loves of a young California rock-and -roll band, the two partners announced today.
Fuller’s 25-year entertainment career has been highlighted by innovation and number one hits in TV, film, music, sports and fashion, and he has gained global renown for creating and producingt he world’s biggest TV franchise, AMERICAN IDOL, developing the Beckhams into one of the world’s most recognizable talent brands and guiding the careers of some of the most successful music stars such as Annie Lennox, Kelly Clarkson, The Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, David Cook, Adam Lambert and hit songwriter Cathy Dennis. He currently serves as Executive Producer on “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “Q’Viva!: The Chosen.”
“Lionsgate’s growth has been built on our partnerships with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry, and Simon Fuller is an entrepreneurial icon whose success in TV, film and music sets him in a class by himself,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “He has pioneered new brands with almost unique replicability around the world, and we’re thrilled to partner with him on a show that represents the latest and one of the most exciting chapters in the ongoing diversification of our television business.”
“Simon Fuller has created some of the most successful and enduring franchises in entertainment today,” said Lionsgate Television Group President Kevin Beggs and Lionsgate Television COO Sandra Stern. “We believe that this musical drama about a young rock and roll band will have global resonance with the same young audiences that have fueled the success of other Lionsgate franchises. From AMERICAN IDOL to Spice Girls, Simon has consistently demonstrated the ability to generate brands and formats with enormous worldwide appeal.”
“I am full of positive anticipation for this new collaboration and delighted to partner with Jon Feltheimer, Kevin Beggs and the rest of the team at Lionsgate, one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the entertainment industry,” said Fuller. “From MAD MEN and WEEDS to THE HUNGER GAMES, Lionsgate has demonstrated the global perspective, creative instincts and marketing prowess to build successful franchises for the future. Our combined powers and vision promise to make for an exciting new entertainment property.”
Lionsgate and Fuller have already launched a nationwide search for four young actors who are also skilled musicians to portray the band members. Showrunner meetings are underway, and the series is being shaped for both broadcast and cable outlets.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning “Mad Men,” “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie,” along with the powerful drama “Boss” and the syndication successes “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” its spinoff “Meet the Browns,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Are We There Yet?”
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise, which has already grossed more than $600 million at the worldwide box office, “The Expendables,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Cabin In The Woods,” “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family” and “Margin Call.” With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises – the blockbuster “Twilight Saga,” which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and “The Hunger Games.” Recent Summit hits include “Red,” “Letters to Juliet,” “Knowing,” the “Step Up” franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, “The Hurt Locker.”
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About XIX Entertainment
Simon Fuller’s business, XIX Entertainment, houses partnerships with iconic sportsmen including David Beckham, tennis player Andy Murray and F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, as well as fashion businesses with designers Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham. In launching XIX, Fuller has built upon 25 years of unparalleled success to create a new form of business enterprise focused on entertainment, technology and consumer brands. Fuller has an association with several charitable initiatives, including Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Save The Children, Keep A Child Alive, The Muhammad Ali Center, The Prince’s Trust, Malaria No More, the United Nations Foundation and Comic Relief.