Reality TV king Thom Beers moving into scripted programming

Reality TV supremo Thom Beers is moving into scripted programming and has lined up projects with AMC and Lifetime, he has told TBIvision. Both of the US cable networks have scripts from Beer’s Original Productions as the reality TV producer seeks to branch out. Meanwhile, Beers is also developing reality series with Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.

The Original Productions’ founder is in the Rockies this week at The Banff World Media Festival, where he is received the Excellence in Non-Fiction Award. Speaking to TBIvision, the producer of hit reality series including Deadliest Catch, Monster Garage, Ice Road Truckers and Storage Wars said that having started out as an actor and having written plays, he is returning to his drama roots.

“I’m going back to scripted, I’ve run into a lot of interesting people and five years ago started picking up life rights. One that has come to fruition is about a female detective in Alaska who looks for lost people,” he explains. “Alaska provides a fantastic backdrop and we are working with one of the writers from The Cleaner. We have a script with Lifetime, it’s called 48 Below.”

Original Productions, which is now majority-owned by FremantleMedia, has another script with AMC, the cable net that broadcasts Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

 Beers said: “We did an eight-part series, Into the Firestorm for Discovery and we are working with AMC on Man of Fire, about a group of people that works on forest fires, which is a really interesting world.”

Meanwhile, Beers is working with one of the biggest names in scripted TV – Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order franchise – to get his ideas made into unscripted shows.

“He’s a big fan of Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch and we are sitting down with him because he is such a great writer,” Beers explains. “We are talking about creating reality brands around his cops and lawyers stories. We have developed two new shows so far that we are going to take out and roll with.”