French studio Guamont has announced the creation of Gaumont International Television (GIT), marking its foray into worldwide television production and distribution. Based in Los Angeles, GIT will be led by Katie O'Connell as CEO and Richard Frankie as COO.
A number of projects are already in development, including "Hannibal," a one-hour drama written by Bryan Fuller, and "Madame Tussaud," a six-hour mini-series from Michael Hirst.
O'Connell previously served as executive VP of drama programming for NBC Entertainment. Prior to that she was the executive VP of development and current programming for Imagine Entertainment. Frankie most recently was the executive VP of business operations at Sony Pictures Television. He also held senior level positions at Buena Vista Home Video and Universal Television. Working alongside O'Connell and Frankie is Erik Pack, based in London, who will head international distribution and co-production for the company. Pack previously served as executive VP of international sales and co-productions at Power.
"As we looked to expand our global presence in television it became clear that the next logical step was to launch Gaumont International Television. As a leading independent studio we are looking to build a company that is nimble, global and creative in this ever changing television landscape," commented Gaumont's CEO, Sidonie Dumas, and vice CEO, Christophe Riandee. "With Katie and Richard's background in the US television market, both from a creative and business perspective, and with Erik in London overseeing our distribution and co-production, and our French team, we feel we are well positioned to produce and offer top-quality entertainment that will succeed globally."
"Hannibal" will center on Lecter's early days, namely his time going head-to-head with FBI agent Will Graham. The back story between the two characters were alluded to in Thomas Harris' novel "Red Dragon" and the films Manhunter and Red Dragon.
Martha De Laurentiis (Hannibal Rising, Red Dragon) will produce the show.