News & Press

News & Press

‘The Voice’ Creator John de Mol to Produce U.S. Shows Through ITV America (Exclusive)

The Hollywood Reporter

by: Scott Roxborough

Talpa Media USA, the American arm of the Dutch reality TV group set up by The Voice and Big Brother creator John de Mol, has signed a production partnership to produce its U.S. shows with ITV America.

Under the deal, unveiled Wednesday by De Mol and ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery, Talpa Media USA will produce its new shows in North America through ITV’s U.S. production infrastructure.

The agreement will not effect Talpa’s hit music competition show The Voice, which will continue to be produced by MGM Productions and Warner Horizon for NBC.

“Talpa’s amazing legacy is built on its ability to create big entertainment formats that also reinvent entire genres — it’s a unique formula that continues to resonate with viewers around the world,” said Montgomery. “We’re thrilled to bring the creative and production expertise of ITV America to a partnership designed to mine our respective strengths.”

The deal was brokered by Talpa Global managing director Maarten Meijs and ITV America executive vp business development and international Ed Simpson.

The move is part of a new strategic realignment by Talpa Media, which British TV giant ITV acquired in 2015 for an initial payment of $530 million.

Talpa is also shuffling its U.S. management. The Voice producer Stijn Bakkers and The Voice UKexecutive producer Tim van Rongen will join Talpa Media USA as joint CEOs, replacing Jay Bienstock, who has been Talpa Media USA’s boss since 2014. Bienstock is currently in discussions to set up an overall deal with Talpa Media to develop and produce new Talpa formats for the U.S. market.

Bakkers served as Talpa Media USA’s chief creative officer from 2011 until mid-2014 and was an executive producer on both the U.K. and U.S. versions of The Voice, winning an Emmy in 2013 for his work on the latter. Van Rongen most recently served as senior vp at SYCO Entertainment, Simon Cowell’s joint venture with Sony Music. Before that, he was an executive producer at Talpa and worked on The Voice and spinoff format The Voice Kids in European markets, including the U.K., Germany, France and Italy. Van Rongen also executive produced the hugely successful Chinese version of The Voice.

Bakkers and van Rongen will focus on expanding Talpa’s format portfolio in the U.S., working together with ITV Entertainment president David Eilenberg, ITV America president David George and ITV America chief creative officer Adam Sher.

“I’m thrilled to partner with ITV America in the USA, which enables us to use their highly proficient infrastructure and resources,” said de Mol. “With Stijn and Tim at the helm of our U.S. operation, we are well positioned to further increase our development and production across broadcast, non-linear, cable and digital platforms — whether it’s long-form, short-form or premium global content that we are known for, like The Voice. From creation to execution, this new partnership provides a great strategic set-up to facilitate the rapidly growing U.S. market with fresh Talpa formats.”

Talpa Media USA is repped by WME and attorney Jeanne Newman.