Gameshow veteran forms JV with Lionsgate

Formats-logo-460_2Jeff ApploffProlific gameshow producer Jeff Apploff and Lionsgate Entertainment are creating a joint venture to create unscripted programming and formats.

Under terms of the agreement, Lionsgate will land exclusive rights to TV programming from Apploff Entertainment.

Apploff, who runs his company as president and CEO, has created formats such as Fox’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics! (in conjunction with RDF USA and Brad Lachman Productions), and, more recently, NBC primetime series QuizUp and Beat Shazam for Fox in partnership with Mark Burnett.

He also executive-produced Boom! for Fox, along with format owner Keshet and Dick Clark Productions, plus Take Me Out, Total Blackout and Million Dollar Money Drop.

Apploff previously had a production deal with Zodiak Media (now Banijay Group)’s US arm.

For Lionsgate, the move bolsters its expanding unscripted TV business. It is currently working up reality series Kicking & Screaming for Fox, and, along with Activision, a Candy Crush app-themed gameshow for CBS. It also has a significant stake in Pilgrim Media Group.

“Jeff is a world-class showrunner, a respected collaborator and a prolific creator of high-end unscripted content with global appeal,” said O’Connell. “As Lionsgate Television expands its alternative programming portfolio to include big formats that can travel around the world, we’re fortunate to add Jeff and his talented team at Apploff Entertainment, including Wes Kauble and Danielle Peress, as rich sources of incredible shows and formats,” said Lionsgate executive VP, alternative programming Jennifer O’Connell.

Apploff said the “opportunity for [his firm] to partner with a prestigious studio ramping up its unscripted slate was a no-brainer”.

Lionsgate recently completed the US$4.4 billion acquisition of premium cable operator Starz, and spent much of this week selling the merger to investors at an event in the US.