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Our history

Fremantle has existed for over 100 years. We’re proud of the creative excellence our history represents, and how we have grown to become a global leader in content creation, production and distribution.

1917

Germany’s film and TV production powerhouse, UFA is founded.

1956

The longest running gameshow in Television history, Price is Right launches.

1959

Reg Grundy Productions founded. The original home of Neighbours, Good Times Bad Times and Going for Gold. 

1968

Thames Television first broadcasts in the UK, later becomes the home of The Bill. 

1971

British film and TV production company Euston Films is founded.

1976

Family Feud launches in USA, later adapting to 67 global markets.

1983

First broadcast of iconic British police series The Bill, which continued for 26 years.

1985

Australian hit soap Neighbours first launches on our screens. Three years later over 19 million people in the UK would tune in to watch Scott and Charlene marry. 

1990

Creation of Pearson and merger with Thames Television to create Pearson TV.

1990

Good Times Bad Times format was created, first launching in the Netherlands as Goede tijden, slechte tijden. Today it’s the longest running Dutch soap opera.

1992

Good Times Bad Times goes to Germany as UFA launches Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, the longest running German soap opera.

1995

Pears TV buys Grundy.

1996

Pearson TV buys All American TV, which has an enviable catalogue including Baywatch, The Price is Right and Family Feud.

1999

Finland’s longest running drama Salatut elämät (Secret Lives) airs. 

2000

Pearson TV acquires Talkback Productions, creating Talkback Thames makers of Netflix sensation Too Hot To Handle, QI and Harry’s Heroes.

2000

Merger of CLT-UFA and Pearson TV which creates RTL Group.

2001

Pearson TV rebranded as FremantleMedia. Media conglomerate Bertelsmann becomes majority shareholder of RTL Group.

2001

Pop Idol format is created and Pop Idol UK goes on to be watched by over 700 million viewers worldwide to date.

2002

Worldwide phenomenon American Idol launches crowning two-time Grammy award winning Kelly Clarkson as the first winner.

2004

The X Factor launches in the UK, propelling singing sensations Leona Lewis, James Arthur, Little Mix and One Direction to superstardom. Farmer Wants A Wife launches for the first time in Belgium as Boer zoekt Vrouw.

2006

America’s Got Talent airs for the first time. 'Got Talent' now holds the Guinness World Record for world’s most successful reality TV format, watched by over a billion viewers worldwide. 

2007

The highest rated entertainment show of the 21st century, Britain’s Got Talent premieres. 

2009

Susan Boyle’s famous Britain’s Got Talent audition begins our journey on YouTube – the clip broke three million views in five days. 

2009

Leading games development company Ludia, and renowned reality producers Original Productions join the Fremantle family.

2014

Miso Film, leaders in Scandi drama, join the Fremantle family. 

2015

Wildside, producers of acclaimed drama ‘The Young Pope’ starring Jude Law and directed by Paolo Sorrentino become part of the Fremantle Family. They are joined by Kwai and No Pictures Please.

2016

Abot Hameiri, makers of Shtisel, join the Fremantle family.

2018

FremantleMedia rebrands to Fremantle.

2018

Our Britain’s Got Talent YouTube channel received a Diamond Play button for reaching 10 million subscribers – first European TV channel to win this. 

2019

20 years of Grand Designs and 153 spectacular builds. Fremantle partners with Richard Brown and his label Passenger to develop and produce scripted series out of the US.

2020

Got Talent format travels to over 75 territories around the world.

2020

Farmer Wants a Wife celebrates 178 weddings and 360 babies.

2020

Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten reaches 7,000 episode milestone.