Reg Grundy Organisation
|Fate||Merged with Crackerjack Productions|
|Headquarters||Sydney, NSW, Australia|
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Reg Grundy Productions (later the Grundy Organisation, then Grundy Entertainment and known informally as Grundy's) was an Australian television production company founded in 1959 by businessman Reg Grundy. It later branched out into Europe and the USA. The company first produced game shows, then branched into soap operas in 1973. In 1995 Reg Grundy sold the company to Pearson Television, which has since become known as FremantleMedia and is part of the RTL Group (in turn 90% owned by Bertelsmann). In 2006 FremantleMedia merged Grundy Television and Crackerjack Productions to form Fremantle Australia. Until 2013 the Grundy name still existed in Germany as Grundy Light Entertainment and in Italy as Grundy Productions Italy.
After success in radio, Reg Grundy's first TV production was Wheel of Fortune which launched on Nine Network in 1959. Another show with this title, although based on a Merv Griffin production, celebrated its 25th anniversary in Australia, a week before its cancellation in July 2006.
In the late 1980s Reg Grundy established Grundy World Wide Limited. He created and operated local, independent television production and distribution companies in Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Pearson Television (now Fremantle) acquired the Grundy group of companies in April 1995. On 30 August 2006, FremantleMedia announced they would merge Grundy Television with their other Australian production company, Crackerjack Productions, to form a single "super" production company called "FremantleMedia Australia". The new company is now managed by the management team from Crackerjack, with Mark Fennessy as chief executive officer and his brother Carl Fennessy as chief operating officer.
Simon Spalding (Fremantle Director of Asia Pacific Operations) said in an interview that Grundy Television's premises in Sydney are to be refurbished and that once complete, all Sydney based staff will be located there. He claims that this will help to create a 'deeper' production facility and is not a cost-cutting exercise. Spalding also said that although the Grundy name would be disappearing, he was looking at how FremantleMedia could retain the Grundy name and the heritage associated with it.
The company had several divisions in other countries:
Grundy France EURL - the now defunct French division (later Pearson Television France in 1999) which was best known for producing Questions pour un champion, along with other programs Le Juste Prix and La Gym de Neurones.
Grundy Light Entertainment - the German division, which produces such shows as Ruck Zuck (best known of Grundy's German game shows), Das Quiz mit Jörg Pilawa, Q-Boot, along owing and producing German versions of RTL Group formats Family Feud (Familien-Duell), Sale of the Century (Hopp oder Top), and The Price Is Right (Der Preis ist heiß). Since September 2013, the company has been renamed "UFA Show & Factual".
Grundy Productions Spain - Now known as Fremantle España S.A..
United States and United Kingdom
Reg Grundy Productions was the American and British wing of the worldwide television production company Grundy Worldwide, which was founded by Australian television producer Reg Grundy. Reg Grundy Productions was responsible for the production of two highly successful daytime game shows on NBC during the 1980s, Sale of the Century and Scrabble, and produced a revival of Scrabble in 1993. The company also produced Time Machine (a history-themed game show similar in format to The Price is Right) and Scattergories for NBC, Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak for ABC and Small Talk for The Family Channel. Of the game shows Grundy produced in America, only Sale and the original Scrabble were hits; Time Machine lasted 16 weeks, Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak, and Small Talk had 13 week runs each and Scattergories and the revival of Scrabble were cancelled after five months (the latter returning only on a limited basis). Frequent announcers of the company's game shows included Jay Stewart, Don Morrow, Gene Wood and Charlie Tuna.
The company also produced re-edited versions of two highly successful soaps out of Australia, Prisoner and on some markets Neighbours. Bill Mason (was also EP of Sale of the Century, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune New Zealand) operated the U.S.-based Grundy operation, and was the executive in charge of production for all of the Grundy-based game shows in the States. Former Concentration co-creator Robert Noah was also the driving force behind several of the aforementioned game shows, including Time, Sale and Scrabble.
In the UK, Reg Grundy Productions produced two big hit shows for the BBC called Going for Gold and Small Talk. They also produced three cult shows for ITV called Keynotes, Celebrity Squares and Man O Man. before becoming a joint production company with Channel 5 to produce a few more shows such as 100%, Whittle, Night Fever, Fort Boyard, Win Beadle's Money, One to Win (a revival of Going for Gold), and The Desert Forges. It also owned the rights to two Bruce Forsyth game shows such as Play Your Cards Right and The Price Is Right as well as a Tim Clark game show called Give Us a Clue, a Michael Barrymore game show called Strike It Lucky, a Paul O'Grady game show called Lily Savage's Blankety Blank, a Dale Winton game show called Dale's Supermarket Sweep and a Liza Tarbuck game show called Blockbusters.
Reg Grundy Productions was based in West Los Angeles near Century City, and was responsible for helping start the career of television producer and talent agent entrepreneur Sean Perry, whose father, Jim Perry hosted Sale of the Century. The company is now defunct, having been folded into Fremantle North America, along with Mark Goodson Productions.
- Dawtrey, Adam (3 April 1995). "Pearson goes global via Grundy purchase".
- "Greg Dyke took pounds 7m home when he left ITV. Now he's hungry for". 27 June 1995.