FremantleMedia Enterprises tag-team with Richard Taylor’s Pukeko Pictures
Press release from Adele Feletto Publicity
Pukeko Pictures, known for international children’s hit The WotWots, seen on ABC4Kids, as well as being the affiliate television company of Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop, has today announced a first look deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) to produce scripted content along with the appointment of Adam Fratto as Executive Vice President, Development.
Based at FremantleMedia’s LA office, Adam Fratto will report to Pukeko Pictures’ co-owner Martin Baynton and will work alongside FME’s Senior Vice President of Global Content, Jeff Tahler and Tony Optican, Senior Vice President of Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America on the development of new scripted television series. These will benefit from the expertise from within the New Zealand entertainment sector, in particular the world-renowned talents of the Wellington film and television production industry and the Weta Workshop facilities.
Richard Taylor, co-founder of Pukeko Pictures, said, "We are proud and delighted to have formed this partnership with FremantleMedia Enterprises, a global entertainment leader. Together with Adam EVP, Development, we look forward to creating high-quality and universally appealing productions. Adam brings to the partnership years of industry experience with Atticus Entertainment and Piller/Segan and we are thrilled to announce his appointment".
Pukeko Pictures is affiliated with the Oscar and Bafta award-winning Weta Workshop through founding partners Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, known internationally for their work on films including the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin and The Hobbit and television shows Hercules and Xena and their own IP developed brands Jane and the Dragon and The WotWots – Season 1 of the series was partly filmed in Australia.
David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, said, “The teams at Pukeko and Weta Workshop are respected the world over for their work at the cutting edge of the film and television industry. Adam’s appointment offers up tremendous opportunities, allowing for incredibly close collaboration between our two organisations on the development, financing and production of innovative new drama series that will appeal to audiences around the globe.”
This deal further expands FME’s global initiative, which has recently included The Wedding Band, from Tollin Productions for TBS in the US, and Hit & Miss from Abbott Vision for Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Fratto joins from Atticus Entertainment where he spearheaded television, feature and new media development under a first-look deal with HBO. He is also co-executive producer of Haven, a dramatic mystery series based on “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King, airing on Syfy in the U.S. and more than 100 cable channels around the world.
Prior to his role at Atticus Entertainment, Fratto served as VP at Piller/Segan where he oversaw development and served as associate producer on The Dead Zone and Wildfire and co-producer on Greek. While at Piller/Segan, Adam developed and sold pilots to ABC, NBC, TNT, ABC, Family, Lifetime, Syfy, USA, and Spike and worked closely with studios including ABC Studios, NBCU Studios, Fox TV Studios, E1, and Lionsgate.
Note: Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson is not involved with this Fremantle first look deal.