Intellygents founder leaves Sony Pictures Television

Kirsten Jan van Nieuwenhuijzen has left his position as creative director at Sony Pictures Television and started a new business, Indy Ideas.

Van Nieuwenhuijzen was the cofounder of Intellygents, the interactive content firm that was acquired in 2006 for about €5 million (US$6.75 million) by 2waytraffic, which in turn was bought by Sony in 2008. Based in Holland, he had been SPT’s creative director since 2010.

“I worked with John de Mol at Endemol for six years, had my own company for five and was then at SPT for seven and I wanted to do something different to stay inspired,” van Nieuwenhuijzen told TBI.

The new business, Indy Ideas, will create original ideas and work with outside producers on formats and entertainment shows. “The idea was to start something like I had with Intellygents,” van Nieuwenhuijzen said. “It won’t be a producer but a creative company that collaborates with producers and channels.”

After working at Endemol, van Nieuwenhuijzen created Intellygents in 2002 with Mark van Berkel. The company went on to create the That’s the Question and Take it or Leave It formats as well as the Who Wants to be a Millionaire spin-off 50:50.

Indy Ideas is working with van Berkel’s content firm TVMark on some new projects and with Netherlands-based multiplatform prodco NewBeTV on other new formats.

Online and digital content a priority, van Nieuwenhuijzen said. “It’s difficult to get new formats into interesting slots on television now, but we are seeing more and more content going to online channels. If it this content attracts interest and the right demo, it can move to TV.”

Van Nieuwenhuijzen will continue working for Sony on a consultancy basis.

News of his departure from Sony comes after another senior SPT exec, Ed Louwerse, left the company’s Dutch-based operation. TBI understands that Michiel Verhoeff, SPT’s director, solutions, has also departed, with his responsibilities being divided between the company’s staff in Holland and the UK.

Sony’s senior management said last week that it is placing increased emphasis on its US and international TV programming and channels operations.