Exclusive: WBITVP looks to boost French format development with new role

Les Reines De La Route

Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) has created a new director of development role to help boost its slate of original unscripted French formats, TBI has learned.

The Paris-based position has been created following the departure of former head of development, Déborah Fazel, who left to join Endemol France as director of creation and development in March.

The director of development will report to WBITVP France’s president Bruno Henriquet and will have overall responsibility for managing the development process and creative output.

The position is described as a “key” part of the senior management team, which is led by Henriquet and also includes head of productions Jérôme Elduayen and head of programmes Renaud Rahard.

The remit includes developing both adaptations of Warner Bros. and other formats for the French market, as well as generating new IP with the potential to travel around WBITVP’s network of production companies, with a focus on the entertainment, factual, and factual entertainment genres.

They will be developing formats for both WBITVP parent Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD)-owned channels (including the as-yet-unnamed new WBD streamer) and external broadcasters.

WBITVP France is behind titles including docu-reality shows Les Reines De La Route (aka Trucker Babes) and Les Mamans (aka Young Mums) and auction franchise La Vie Des Objets (aka Cash Or Trash).

Earlier this year, WBD revealed it would be launching a new combined streaming service in France, following the end of its HBO Max roll-out, as exclusively revealed by TBI.

France is a key European territory for global streamers and WBD has made a flurry of recent hires in the country, including former Canal+ exec Vera Pelketian and Arte France’s Clémentine Bobin, brought on ostensibly to develop and produce French originals for HBO Max.

WBD’s EMEA originals plans elsewhere are, however, in a state of flux. Production has been shelved across the Nordics, while the team run by HBO Max EMEA chief Antony Root is set to be all-but disbanded by the end of the year, as revealed by TBI.

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