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June 24, 2008

Tom Forman joins Relativity Media

Forman_tom_Reality producer Tom Forman has joined financier/management company Relativity Media to create a new production entity.

Forman ("Kid Nation," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") will become CEO of Relativity Real, a production, sales and distribution arm of Relativity Media. As part of the deal, the three-time Emmy winner has folded his company Tom Forman Prods. and his entire eight-member staff will join him at Relativity Real.

Relativity Media has also established its own foreign sales arm to sell Forman's programs and formats to the international marketplace. Forman will run day-to-day affairs of Relativity Real and serve as executive producer on the majority of the productions.

The deal comes on heels of Forman's two-year overall deal with CBS Paramount expiring last week. The agreement effectively allows Relativity to purchase the collective braintrust of Tom Forman Prods. without purchasing the actual company.

Relativity Media president and CEO Ryan Kavanuagh said Forman’s deal is only the first step in establishing a strong television unit.

“We spent the last three years doing a lot of research looking for a TV structure that will mirror our film structure,” Kavanuagh said. “Forman is perfect; he has a fully functioning team and now overnight we now have a very robust television company ... Our goal is ultimately to be a major supplier of high quality and commercial content to the domestic and international marketplace.”

Kavanuagh added that his company is in negotiations on buying three television-related properties, plus will shop a trio of new Forman-fronted reality projects in the coming weeks.

Sources say the deal is worth about $3 million-$4 million per year for Forman's newly established division, which will launch with a three-year commitment. Relativity’s investment in the burgeoning television department may be considerably higher, however, once other material expenses are included.

"Relativity Real is a company of storytellers," Forman said in a statement. "Their financial commitment to Relativity Real speaks for itself: a monster investment in a major new company that's poised to reinvent unscripted television. Relativity's other commitments to Relativity Real are harder to quantify but equally important. It was clear from our first meeting that Ryan and I share a passion for great stories."

The deal comes on the heels of reports that Mark Burnett is considering selling Mark Burnett Prods. to IMG.

Forman is represented by United Talent Agency.


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