Andrew Llinares is returning to Fremantle as its director of global entertainment to replace the soon-to-retire Rob Clark.
Llinares starts immediately and is based out of London, leading all global entertainment production, development and acquisitions teams.
He reports into Fremantle CEO Jennifer Mullin and takes on the remit from Clark, who revealed last year he would be leaving after more than two decades with the company.
Llinares was previously head of Thames/Syco co-productions in the UK and was the original showrunner on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent when they first launched in the country in 2004 and 2007 respectively.
He then moved to the US and became EP and showrunner for the US version of The X Factor, before taking on the same roles on Dancing With The Stars in 2018. The show had aired on Disney’s ABC but moved to sibling streamer Disney+ last year for its 31st season.
Fremantle’s entertainment catalogue ranges from Got Talent, Idol and The X Factor, to Farmer Wants A Wife, The Price Is Right and Family Feud. Its labels, Thams and Talkback, have also behind Too Hot To Handle for Netflix, while acquisitions include I Can See Your Voice, The Masked Singer and The Masked Dancer.
Jennifer Mullin, group CEO at Fremantle, said: “Andrew is a seasoned producer and a creative executive that has been within our family for many years; he knows our business, our formats, and most importantly our people. Rob Clark has been instrumental in designing our global entertainment division and I believe Andrew is well poised to build on that, ensuring that creative and production excellence remain at the heart of our company.”
Llinares added: “Not only am I returning to the UK, but I am also coming back to a company that has felt like home for a long, long time. I am honoured to be taking over from Rob Clark; someone I have loved working with and greatly admire.”
Fremantle, which has been rapidly expanding its scripted and docs credentials over recent years, remains a key player in entertainment formats, an area that Mullins said “has been and always will be, crucial to our success.”
In 2022, Fremantle’s entertainment division claims to have produced 456 shows across 67 territories, via prodcos including Eureka (Holey Moley), Label 1 (Five Dates A Week), Thames (Britain’s Got Talent), Talkback (Too Hot To Handle) and Naked Entertainment (The Rap Game).