Fremantle Completes Asacha Media Group Deal; London TV Screenings 2025; ‘Death In Paradise’ Lead; Chrome Studios Unscripted Push; AI Kids App Launching – Global Briefs

Fremantle Completes Asacha Deal

Fremantle has completed its big-money acquisition of Death in Paradise producer Asacha Media Group. The super-indie notified this morning that the deal, which was revealed several weeks ago, has gone through, and will see the Poor Things maker acquire the group from Asacha’s founding partners, managers and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. Fremantle hasn’t revealed how much Asacha cost but has said it has spent more than €200M ($216M) on both Asacha and 80% of Singapore’s Beach House Pictures since the start of this year. Fremantle takes hold of an eight-label group including Death in Paradise producer Red Planet, Arrow Media and Italy’s Stand By Me. Headquartered in Paris, France, Asacha will continue to be run by Co-Founder and Group CEO Gaspard de Chavagnac who will report to Fremantle’s Andrea Scrosati. De Chavagnac will continue to be supported by Marina Williams as Chief Content Officer of Asacha. Labels will report to de Chavagnac. “We are pleased to welcome Asacha and its incredible labels, producers and creative talent, under Gaspard de Chavagnac to the Fremantle family,” said Scrosati. For Fremantle, the completed move will be a big boost in its bid to reach its much-discussed €3B revenue target, which Deadline revealed last week has been pushed back by up to a year.

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London TV Screenings Unveils Next Year’s Dates

The London TV Screenings has announced dates for next year and said there was a 50% uplift in buyers this year. The growing event, which brought together 29 studios and distributors in 2024, will take place February 24 to 28 in 2025. Organized by ITV Studios, All3Media International, Banijay and Fremantle, the screenings have become an integral part of the TV market calendar. The fourth annual event enjoyed an uplift of 50% more buyers in attendance, organizers said, some 750+ in total, as well as attracting 29 participating distributors/studios, a slight increase on the 2023 edition. It comprised a full schedule of free-to-attend events and numerous evening socials.

‘Death In Paradise’ Lead Exits

Death in Paradise lead Ralph Little is exiting the show after four years. Little, who played Neville Parker, is the longest-serving Detective Inspector in the long-running BBC series, coming after Ben Miller, Kris Marshall and Ardal O’Hanlon. New lead casting is coming in due course. Licensed to more than 230 territories across the globe, Death in Paradise has been airing for 13 seasons and more than 100 episodes. It follows the Saint Marie police team solving crimes in the Caribbean Island. “Joining a successful show like Death in Paradise as the lead is a daunting and risky prospect, but Ralf’s confidence and talent shone through from day one and the audience response to Neville and his journey has been amazing,” said exec for Red Planet Pictures Tim Key.

Chromes Studios Moves Into Unscripted

Chrome Studios, the entertainment arm of London and LA-based branded content and commercials business Chrome Productions, is moving into unscripted. The firm has hired Wag Entertainment’s Bri Marzigliano to help with the push. She will work across the unscripted slate alongside Executive Creative Director Stephen Parker, Founder and CEO Joel Mishcon, COO Emma Astaire and VP, North America Robert Chew. Chrome is also in development on its first scripted project, Poles Apart, written and directed by UK filmmaker Reggie Yates. “Moving into unscripted entertainment is a natural next step for Chrome,” said Parker. “We have identified an opportunity to position ourselves as a thought-leading player in the hybrid space between commercials and entertainment, and Bri’s background in developing long-running series and high-profile feature docs for networks and streamers in the U.S. and UK makes her the perfect choice to build on our unscripted slate.”

Kids App Encourages Positive Online Behavior Using AI

A children’s content app that uses AI to encourage positive online behavior and foster mental wellbeing called Aileen is launching on April 18. The app comes integrated with with a comedy-drama sci-fi adventure adventure podcast from comic Laureate Hannah Berry, A2Z, which runs to ten episodes. Aimed at kids aged 7-10, Aileen claims to be “app on the market that offers a healthy, highly-curated, ChatGPT AI experience,” and includes guardrails, monitoring and a generative AI platform that is not web connected. It had input from a team of psychologists and experts in child development and mental health, and comes from Rezilience, the company owned by Dr Lance Dann and Prof Martin Spinelli behind children’s podcast The Rez. The A2Z podcast will be distributed internationally by children’s podcast network Gen-Z Media, while the app is available free on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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