Atlas Deals Spanning the Globe

Jan 27, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Heading into NATPE, Atlas Media is on a roll.
In recent weeks Atlas has inked a deal with the Travel Channel for “Art Attack With Lee Sandstead,” renewed “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” for season four, signed a U.S. network deal for “Who Knew? With Marshall Brain” with National Geographic Channel as well as an international distribution agreement with Beyond Distribution, and signed blogger Tionna Smalls to an exclusive talent and reality series development agreement, according to company President Bruce David Klein.
“We’re firing on all cylinders—finding and developing new talent, delivering production value on current shows to ensure strong ratings and renewals and finding new ways to monetize our library,” said Mr. Klein. “These deals reflect our multifaceted approach to a fast-changing industry.”
The company’s pilot for “Art Attack” was picked up last week by the Travel Channel with a minimum eight-episode order. The series, hosted by Mr. Sandstead, will be designed in an “incredibly accessible and entertaining way” to showcase a journey through the world’s coolest art museums. In each episode, viewers join the noted art historian and lecturer as he leads them on a tour of the top five “must-see” pieces at one iconic art museum.
In “Who Knew?” (aka “Engineered” internationally) Atlas Media takes viewers into the world of product design, manufacturing and testing—a world where traditional assembly lines collide with cutting-edge technology to shape, forge, weld or build the objects people encounter in their everyday lives. The series will be hosted by Mr. Brain, best-selling author and founder of HowStuffWorks.com, with each episode featuring three familiar objects, from the complex (an automobile constructed almost entirely by robots) to the simple (a golf ball designed for optimal aerodynamics).
After three seasons of “Dr. G: Medical Examiner,” Discovery will shift the show to TLC for season four; it has been Discovery Health Channel’s top-rated program. Dr. Jan Garavaglia will continue to take center stage on the series.
In upcoming development, Atlas Media signed Ms. Smalls to a deal that will give an insider’s view of her life, times and career exploits. She is author of the popular blog “Talk Dat Ish” and an advice columnist for Radar Online (formerly for Gawker.com), and is known for her activities as an amateur psychologist, writer, community advocate and entrepreneur.
“She is going to be a superstar,” said Mr. Klein. “So we will be developing something for her in the digital world through our new division as well as pitch her reality show for cable networks.”
Atlas’ digital division opened last year, according to Mr. Klein, at the request of company clients.
“Everybody has been talking digital and wanting to get involved in the market, but in our case we had so many networks and distribution entities asking us to do things for them, it literally willed into existence its own division and was profitable in its first year.”
Mr. Klein, who is on the NATPE board, said the company continues to thrive within the annual NATPE market.
“NATPE is a place to sell, discuss and debate ideas. That’s what I love about it,” he said. “We meet with every possible person we can develop ideas with, and explore some co-production opportunities as well as have more and more meetings in the digital world.”
In addition, Mr. Klein will once again co-moderate with William Morris agent Mark Itkin a NATPE panel, this time focused on the history of the talk show. Panelists will include Tom Green, host of “Tom Green’s House Tonight”; Terry Wood, president of creative affairs and development for CBS Television Distribution; Jim Paratore, executive producer of “TMZ” and
president of paraMedia; and former talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael.


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