London – FremantleMedia announced on March 26 that it has signed a deal to acquire a majority stake in US-based reality production company 495 Productions. Under the terms of the deal, FremantleMedia will have a 75% holding with the opportunity to acquire the remaining shareholding in the future. This acquisition adds another of the strongest and most prolific U.S. production companies into FremantleMedia’s increasingly diverse group of North American holdings, alongside its subsidiary FremantleMedia North America (“FMNA”) and previous acquisition Original Productions.

Founded in 2006 by U.S. entertainment producer and creator SallyAnn Salsano, 495 Productions specialises in unscripted character-driven reality series with colourful personalities at their heart. The company developed and produced the pop-culture phenomenon series Jersey Shore, which went on to become MTV’s highest-rated show in its history and a global hit with multiple spin-offs including Snooki and JWOWW, The Show with Vinny and The Pauly D Project. Other ground-breaking productions include Spike TV’s Tattoo Nightmares, which FremantleMedia already distributes internationally, and Repo Games; MTV’s dating show Friendzone and the daytime syndicated talk show The Real for which SallyAnn Salsano is the Executive Producer. The company also produces recent ratings hits Jerks with Cameras for MTV, Tattoos After Dark for Oxygen and Party Down South for CMT.

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO FremantleMedia, commented: “495 Productions is undeniably one of the U.S.’s leading reality production companies with a unique approach to formatted character-driven reality shows which have proved compelling TV in the US and around the world. This deal will allow us to expand our share of the valuable U.S. cable market and will complement and diversify our existing portfolio of content and clients. Together, our ambition is to continue to grow 495 Productions in the U.S. and to broaden its global footprint even further through our extensive distribution and production network.”

Thom Beers, CEO FremantleMedia North America, added: “SallyAnn is a brilliant leader, an unstoppable creative force and one of the most successful producers in the entertainment industry. Since founding the business in 2006, she and the talented creative team at 495 Productions have built the company into a powerhouse responsible for some of the most watched and talked about programming on TV at the moment. This is a key strategic acquisition for FMNA which, with both Original Productions and 495 Productions in the fold, now commands a best-in-class production slate across all family, male and female demos, and for network, cable and syndication platforms.”