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Essential, Quail create LA joint venture

Australian prodcos Quail Television and Essential Media and Entertainment has entered into a production joint venture, with a series of hires also revealed.

Chris Hilton 2016Essential’s existing LA arm, Essential Media USA, and Quail have created Essential Quail Television (EQTV), which is already in production on DIY Network series Texas Flip N Move, spin-offs Louisiana Flip N Move and Alaska Flip N Move.

Quail TV’s Greg Quail, Essential Media USA’s Jesse Fawcett and Essential CEO Chris Hilton (pictured) are leading the JV, which is also in production on 13x60mins restoration series Restored, and several pilots for HGTV and DIY, as EQTV looks to build a catalogue of lifestyle programmes in the US.

Quail recently opened an LA office, while Essential Media and Entertainment has been working in the US for some time.

Quail, meanwhile, has hired production veteran Joel Rizor as chief executive producer and Lindsay Wilkinson as executive in charge of a newly recruited production division.

On the development side ex-Essential Media USA and RTR Media exec Paul Taylor has joined EQTV as head of development. He’s joined by Lauren Kalb-Black, who becomes head of casting, and Katelynn Walker, who was named director of development.

“Establishing Essential Quail Television is the logical next step in the US market for Essential Media and Entertainment,” said co-CEO of EQTV and CEO Essential Media and Entertainment Chris Hilton. “Greg’s unmatched creative drive complements our existing Essential USA business perfectly.”

“We have had an incredible start to the EQTV story and in welcoming such a talented development team as Paul, Lauren and Katelynn to the business,” said Quail. “I’m confident we will continue our growth to become a leader in lifestyle TV production in the US in the years to come.”

For Essential, the news comes a year after the establishment of Essential Media Canada, which was created after a management buy-out at local prodco 11 Television.

EQTV’s new development chief, Taylor, had been installed as head of development at Essential Canada at that point.