Tinopolis goes into business with Lee’s Tollbooth

Wales-based super indie Tinopolis has partnered with The Simple Life showrunner Kevin Lee to launch Tollbooth Group, a Burbank-based production company.

Tinopolis will take an owernship stake in Tollbooth and distribute its output internationally through sales wing Passion Distribution.

Based in LA, Tollbooth becomes the fourth US prodco in the Tinopolis Group portfolio. The others are A Smith & Co, BASE Productions and Firecracker Films. The new producer will focus on development and production of unscripted programming for the domestic US and international markets.

Lee is best know Paris Hilton unscripted series The Simple Life for Fox and was also showrunner on The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best – also for Fox – and The Real Housewives of Orange County for Bravo. He also created and sold Murder to Spike TV and his previously prodco, Tollboth TV, produced Oxygen’s Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love. He has previously held the VP role at Banijay-owned Bunim-Murray Productions.

John Brenkus, founder of BASE Productions and board member of The Tinopolis Group said of Lee: “Kevin is a rarity in this business. He is one of the top network and cable showrunners. He has created and sold a number of formats that have gone on to do well both domestically and internationally. He also has a strong track record of successfully running his own production company. You don’t find that full package in one person too often.”

Lee added yesterday: “I’m thrilled to have the support of The Tinopolis Group because not only can we take advantage of their extensive global distribution, but we can also tap into the logistical infrastructure and vast experience of the group’s existing US production companies.”