Evolution of a Multimedia Firm

Jan 6, 2008  •  Post A Comment

With an eye toward the future, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” producer Evolution Film & Tape has refocused company objectives, re­naming the organization Evolution Media as it marks its 20th anniversary.
In addition, Evolution Media will launch a division dedicated entirely to the area of new media, through which it will identify, develop and produce content for all media in today’s multiplatform market.
To oversee the division, the company has promoted Alex Baskin to the newly created position of VP of development and new media.
The move comes at a time when Evo­lution’s programs, including “House­wives,” “Ocean Force: Huntington Beach, O.C.,” “Switched!” and “The Mansion,” have generated audiences not only in the U.S. but around the world.
“As Evolution celebrates its 20th anniversary, we want to keep providing quality content to not only the traditional outlets but also the many other developing platforms currently seeking content,” said Douglas Ross, company founder and president. “With that, we created this new division to build on our existing success while expanding our expertise into the exciting area of new media. Alex has been a creative force within the company and I look forward to his leading this charge on behalf of Evolution Media.”
According to company executives, the goal of the new division will be to extend the company’s core business by such methods as product integration. Evolution has experience working with advertisers such as JetBlue and American Express to integrate content into programming.
“This is something we’ve been thinking about for a while,” said Mr. Ross. “It’s a great opportunity for us to flex our muscles in our core business and establish an infrastructure in the new-media arena. Having worked in the cable arena, we’ve worked for clients with small budgets and figured out how to provide high-quality product at low cost.”
The announcements come on the heels of Bravo’s recent pick-up of a one-hour reality pilot from Evolution featuring Jo De La Rosa, who appeared in the first two seasons of Evolution’s Bravo docu-series “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”
“Fundamentally, we are trying to produce quality content for different platforms,” Mr. Baskin said. “It will entail reaching directly out to advertisers, as well as venturing out on our own to seek other creative partners. That way we can also incubate ideas online and then potentially package them for television.”
Internationally, the company has scored a slew of deals around the world in recent weeks as it heads into the upcoming National Association of Television Program Executives market.
Evolution’s action-adventure series “Ocean Force: Huntington Beach, O.C.” (formerly “Beach Patrol”) has most recently been sold to outlets in the United Kingdom (Zone Reality), France (Multithematique), Australia (Foxtel), Denmark (Canal 4), the Middle East (Sky Networks) and Botswana (BMD).
Meanwhile, Evolution’s amateur home remodeling reality series on TBS, “The Mansion,” will be seen in France on Du Cote de Chez and throughout Africa on the Africa Business Channel.
BMD has licensed the show in Botswana.
ABC Family’s reality series duo from Evolution, “Switched!” and “Switched Up!,” both of which have generated strong ratings in the U.S. and on the U.K.’s Channel 4/E4 and have been licensed in many territories across the globe, have recently been sold to South Korea’s Coign Media and Namibia’s BMD Entertainment.
Evolution’s gender-bending TBS reality show “He’s a Lady” racked up sales on Pan Asia–International TV in Asia, NRJ-12 in France and FBC TV in Italy.
“We are very pleased by the enthusiastic response that these series have received from buyers around the world,” Mr. Ross said. “The sales momentum illustrates that there is a broad international appetite for programs with strong, entertaining concepts and universal appeal.”
International sales of the programs are overseen by U.K.-based distributor Target Entertainment.


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