Original Productions (OP) has become a world-wide culture-changing force in unscripted reality television. With titles such as Deadliest Catch, Bering Sea Gold, Ice Road Truckers and the Storage Wars triple threat, more than 180 countries world-wide are watching Original Productions’ shows. OP series consistently perform above average on primetime cable networks, maintaining strong and growing ratings as new episodes air from year to renewal year. In March, the second season of OP’s Bering Sea Gold on Discovery began its’ Number One weekly status with more men 25-54 watching than any other cable show in prime time.
The Original Productions Crew produced an amazing 207 episodes of new programming for America’s top cable television networks in 2012 alone. In the United States, 14 Original Productions’ series are currently airing on seven of the country’s top cable networks.
Among those smash hits is the Storage Wars franchise: Storage Wars; Storage Wars: Texas, and the premiere of Storage Wars: New York on New Year’s Day, 2013. Storage Wars is A&E Network’s highest rated-series of all time including the second season premiere with 5.1 million total viewers. When first brand extension Storage Wars: Texas was first telecast, 4.1 million viewers made it the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history.
Original Productions achieves higher success rates and longer running men’s series more than 20 percent above the industry average. In April 2012, the Emmy® Award-winning Deadliest Catch season eight premiere was the number one rated cable show for the night. According to the “National Review” , “…Deadliest Catch started it all…the men who we’ve all gotten to know thanks to the first TV reality show ever to center around real-life men doing real-life work.” The real-life hits continue with wheel gripping Ice Road Truckers in season seven and OP’s brawny Ax Men in season six for History. Without fail, the coveted advertiser friendly 25-54 male audience increases each year an OP series is renewed. Black Gold on truTV is in its fifth season, with Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? on National Geographic Channel and Money Barn on Animal Planet as new OP series.
OP put out is digital shingle when Original Productions Entertainment Network produced its inaugural reality digital series early this year. Working with international beverage company Diageo and their George Dickel brand, the OP team created six episodes of innovative content. The all digital series, Raising the Bar, premiered on Hulu in March. From concept through production, editing and post production finishes, The OP team also includes Max Post, and Amygdala Music
The OP Crew is a staff with depth. After seven years as the company’s President, Philip Segal was named CEO & EP in 2012 when OP Chairman and Founder Thom Beers was promoted to CEO & EP of parent company FremantleMedia, NA. Twelve year veteran production exec Jeff Conroy was named OP President & EP, Sarah Whalen, to Senior VP Programming and to John Grey was promoted to VP Programming.
The OP legacy was founded with mega hits such as Monster Garage and Biker Build- Off. Original Productions has continued its tradition of living up to its name with cult favorites such as 1,000 Ways to Die on Spike and Whisker Wars for IFC and the 2012 Genesis Award Nominee, Wild Justice, on National Geographic Channel.
Original Productions Highlights
Both of the long-running Original Productions series Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers have been heralded with many accolades from their peers. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences alone has selected the Original Productions’ team for 27 nominations. During the past seven years Deadliest Catch has been honored with eight Primetime Emmy® Awards, including the 2011 Outstanding Reality Program.
Other achievements include: The Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television, nine realscreen Factual Entertainment Awards, the America Cinema Editors’ Eddie Award for Editing and four Cinema Audio Society Awards for Sound Mixing.
- The Storage Wars franchise expands with the January premiere of Storage Wars: New York on A&E.
- Sarah Whalen upped to Senior Vice President Programming and Production Executive John Gray promoted to Vice President Programming.
- Season 2 of Bering Sea Gold continues to be a huge ratings hit for Discovery. The March 8th episode was the #1 series in cable among P/M 25-54 (no exclusions) and P/M 18-49 (excluding sports) earning 1.25 HH/1.05 P25-54 and delivering 1.81 million total viewers P2+.
- Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout? premieres on National Geographic Channel
- The wildcatters and roughnecks of Black Gold return for a 5th explosive season on truTV.
- Money Barn premieres on Animal Planet.
- In November, Philip D. Segal named CEO & Executive Producer of Original Productions and Jeff Conroy promoted to President & Executive Producer.
- Season 6 of Ax Men returns with great ratings for History.
- In September Thom Beers is named CEO of FremantleMedia, NA.
- National Geographic Channel ordered two new series from Original Productions. America’s Lost Treasures, which premiered on July 4th, traveled to museums across the country in search of unexpected valuables and Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout? where adults try to prove they can keep up with America’s Boy Scouts.
- Thom Beers was honored by realscreen as the Factual Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame Producer Extraordinaire of 2012. Beers’ landmark series “Deadliest Catch” was awarded three additional awards for Most Original Concept, Best Docureality Programming and the overall 2012 Award of Excellence.
- An Original Productions milestone occurred in the spring of 2012: Emmy® Award-winning Deadliest Catch celebrates its epic 100th episode on Discovery with the premiere of season eight on April 10th, 2012.
- The February premiere of Bering Sea Gold on Discovery was the network’s most-watched series debut ever. An average of 3.66 million people tuned in as it set records for the network among households, adults 18 to 49, and adults and men ages 25 to 54.On January 26th, 2012 an all-new episode of Storage Wars on A&E became the most-watched episode in the franchise's history and the number one original cable program for the night across all key demos with an incredible 3.3 million total viewers, 2.1 million adults 25-54 and 2.0 million adults 18-49. The show propelled A&E to the number one cable network among adults 18-49 and 25-54
- The season five premiere of Original Productions’ Ax Men on HISTORY (January 8th) earned 2.9 million total viewers, 1.6 million Adults 25-54 and 1.5 million Adults 18-49. The show ranks as the most watched season premiere for the series since season one, and was up +33% vs. the season four premiere among Adults 25-54 (1.2 million).
- America just can’t get enough of Original Productions and the hit series Storage Wars. So, Storage Wars: Texas premiered on A&E with a record-breaking 4.1 million total viewers and 2.1 million adults 25-54, making it the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history among the two demos. The debut episode of Storage Wars: Texas also scored 2.1 million adults 18-49.
- Thom Beers was honored in June, 2011 with the Non Fiction Award at the Banff World Media Festival.
- And in Texas’ hottest summer ever, new series American Hoggers brought steamy ratings to A&E in 2011.
- Whisker Wars, the fascinating international facial hair growing and grooming competition, became an instant viewer favorite on IFC in the summer of 2011.
- IRT: Deadliest Roads followed the footsteps of Ice Road Truckers and premiered in 2010 for two thrilling seasons on History with drivers traveling on harrowing highways from the Himalayas to the Andes.
- In November of 2010, OP premiered Wild Justice on the National Geographic Channel chronicling the dangerous lives of California’s game wardens. The series aired for three successful seasons.
- The A&E Networks #1 rated series, Storage Wars is from Original Productions and premiered in 2010.
- SpikeTV premiered a really unusual OP original, 1,000 Ways to Die in 2009. The series became an instant cult-hit and completed its fourth and final season of production in 2012.
- In February 2009, a majority stake in Original Productions was purchased by FremantleMedia (www.fremantlemedia.com), one of the leading creators and producers of world-wide entertainment brands.
- Original Productions and truTV struck liquid gold with the premiere of the series Black Gold.
- Original Productions expanded its unique programming approach to include scripted full length feature films. The first entry, The Deadliest Sea, based on the hit series Deadliest Catch, premiered as a prime time television event on Discovery the following year.
- ComiCon 2008 introduced “Chopper Zombie”, OP’s first graphic novel created by Thom Beers which was released internationally at the festival.
- Ice Road Truckers premiered on History in 2007, tracking an adrenaline pumping 18-wheel ride to frontier outposts in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Alaska and the Arctic Circle. History boasts Ice Road Truckers is one of its top two highest rated series since the network’s inception. History’s second biggest hit Ax Men, debuted in 2008, as the eternal struggle of man versus nature in America’s sustainable forests. The popular series is currently on the air in its fifth season as one of History’s highest rated series ever.
- What would become the multi-Emmy ® award-winning Deadliest Catch premiered in 2005 on Discovery. It was based on a special Thom Beers produced in 1999, Deadliest Jobs in the World. The master mind was at full-tilt with Deadliest Catch, wondering how anyone could do these jobs and survive, especially crab fishing in the dangerous Bering Sea. Documenting the ultimate in working men in a life-threatening environment, Deadliest Catch continues to amaze audiences worldwide. The series on Discovery consistently ranks as the top rated series in the network’s 26-year history.
- OP’s Monster Garage became the company’s first big hit series in 2002 It was followed by huge fan favorites Monster House, and Biker Build-Off. Monster Nation joined the three successful series in 2004. The quartet became Discovery staples of true adventure and authentic unadulterated real-life television, season after successful season.
- Thom Beers opened the doors of Original Productions in Burbank, California in 1997, quickly setting the standard for OP’s now signature high risk-high reward distinctive television brand.
Original Productions’ Media Contact
Vendely Communications 818-783-3707
Elizabeth Vendely/Maggie Nye