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Critical Content Strikes First-Look Deals With ITV Studios France & Belgium’s Be-Entertainment



EXCLUSIVE: Critical Content is looking to the international market for its next move.

Jenny Daly’s entertainment production company has struck deals with ITV Studios France and Belgium’s Be-Entertainment as part of a new global growth strategy. It expects to sign a tranche more deals soon.

A first-look production deal has been struck with ITV Studios France, which is run by formats business veteran Thierry Lachkar, and a first-look distribution agreement is in place with Be-Entertainment for formats landing on DPG Media Channels. Be-Entertainment sells the format behind upcoming NBC reality series Destination X to the international market.

Critical will look to use ITV Studios France and Be-Entertainment’s local relationship to forge new formats. Critical’s past credits include Catfish, Celebrity Game Face and Reese Witherspoon’s Get Organized with the Home Edit.

Stéfanie Gelinas, Critical Content’s recently appointed EVP of Global Formats & Development, will help oversee the slates and strike further deals.  

ITV Studios France is one of the most prolific in the nation, producing entertainment shows such as The Voice and The Voice Kids for TF1, 4 Mariages Pour 1 Lune De Miel for TFX and a local version of Destination X for M6. It is also behind Cosmic Love for Amazon Prime Video and Notre Histoire de France for pubcaster France 2, as well as making dramas and shows in other genres.

Be-Entertainment has been on the rise since Destination X began rolling out internationally, with NBC, M6 and the BBC in the UK all making local versions. It is also behind formats such as Musical of Your Life, The Way Out and Finder$ Keeper$, and is part of DPG Media, a local Belgium channels business that launches many of its shows.

“Our partnerships with ITV Studios France and Be Entertainment reflect Critical Content’s goals of expanding our format footprint beyond U.S. sales,” said Daly, President of SK Global-owned Critical Content. “ITV Studios France is the leading creative powerhouse in France. We are thrilled to align our original creative with their immense success in launching both original and global formats.

“Though Belgium may be a smaller territory, it has launched a multitude of international successes, much due to Be-Entertainment’s innovation. They have had great success across all sub-genres, from the entertaining family game Finder$ Keeper$ to adventure reality with Destination X, and I am honored to be in partnership with such a creative group.

“We are delighted to be working with the Critical Content team bringing their new format creations to French viewers,” said Lachkar, CEO of ITV Studios France. “Jenny and Stefanie are world class talent. Critical Content has a long heritage as a creative powerhouse in the US, we share the same excitement around great content and believe their creative ambition will satisfy the constant need for innovation in the French market.”

“The partnership with Critical Content marks the first announcement of a collaboration within our newly created ‘Creative Collective,’” said Gepke Nederlof, Managing Director of Be-Entertainment.” “In the current competitive landscape with big groups growing bigger and bigger, it is getting more important to attract high-quality content to our catalogue. Bringing together strong creative format ideas from Critical Content to our Belgian channels before launching them to the international market is a win-win for all of us, and we could not be more excited to team up with such an amazing team to do so.”

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