Dreamworks Aquires Rights for "Baywatch"

FremantleMedia, a global media giant, and its partners series creators Michael Berk, Doug Schwartz and Greg Bonann today confirmed the sale of theatrical rights for its internationally-known television property Baywatch to DreamWorks SKG.

The seven-figure deal puts Baywatch on the fast track to hit theaters in the summer of 2006. FremantleMedia produced the series for 10 years from 1991 to 2001 and oversaw its syndication into 142 countries and 44 languages. The deal was brokered by CAA with Berk, Schwartz and Bonann on board to produce and is one of the most aggressive rights deals for a television program.

"We're thrilled that DreamWorks has recognized the potential of Baywatch as a perfect entertainment brand," said Tom Gutteridge, CEO FremantleMedia North America. "I'm sure Baywatch fans the world over will equally look forward to its appearance on the big screen."

The studio will put the film immediately into development, but has given no indication of whether any of the original cast members from the series will be involved. DreamWorks' Michelle Berk is the film's executive producer and Eli Roth is the co-producer.

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is on the leading edge of global broadcast production, developing some of television's most innovative and watched new programming. Based in Santa Monica and with offices in New York, FMNA has produced such genre-bending shows as the musical/reality phenomenon American Idol (Fox), which received five Emmy nominations in 2003, and the hotly debated reality series The Swan (Fox). The company recently completed a 12 episode series of the comedy game show Distraction, for Comedy Central. Other credits include The Price Is Right (CBS), the longest-running game show in television history, the daily syndicated game show Family Feud and the breakout hit lifestyle show How Clean Is Your House? (Lifetime).

FMNA is a division of programming giant FremantleMedia, which creates and produces content in more than 40 countries. FremantleMedia is the production arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company. With interests in 28 television channels and 30 radio stations in 10 countries, RTL Group is a division of leading integrated media and entertainment company Bertelsmann AG.