Global production giant Fremantle has appointed Andrew Llinares as its director of global entertainment.
Llinares — who will be based in London and report to group CEO Jennifer Mullin — takes over from Rob Clark, set to retire at the end of February after 20 years with the company. The role sees the exec assume overall responsibility for Fremantle’s vast global entertainment production, development and acquisitions teams, and with them hit franchises including Got Talent, Idol, The X Factor, Too Hot to Handle, The Masked Singer and I Can See Your Voice. Llinares’ hiring comes less than two weeks after Fremantle promoted Christian Vesper to CEO global drama, overseeing the company’s extensive portfolio of scripted production companies.
A seasoned executive producer, Llinares has a long history with Fremantle. He was previously head of Thames/Syco co-productions in the U.K. and was the original showrunner on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent when they first launched in the U,K, in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Since 2011, while living and working in the U.S., he was also an executive producer and showrunner for the U.S. version of The X Factor, before becoming EP and showrunner on Dancing With The Stars in 2018.
“I am so excited to be taking on this role at Fremantle, it feels like coming home to me,” said Llinares. “Not only am I returning to the U.K., but I am also coming back to a company that has felt like home for a long, long time. I am honored to be taking over from Rob Clark; someone I have loved working with and greatly admire. I cannot wait to get started and work with Jen and the brilliant team at Fremantle.”
Fremantle’s network of entertainment and factual entertainment labels and investments includes Eureka (Holey Moley, The Real Love Boat), Label 1 (Five Dates a Week, Hospital), Thames (Britain’s Got Talent, I Can See Your Voice, Eating With My Ex), Talkback (Too Hot To Handle, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI), Naked Entertainment (Grand Designs, The Rap Game, The Apprentice), Man Alive Entertainment (Dolly Parton: Here I Am) and Full Fat TV (Shipmates). In 2022.
Its entertainment division produced 456 shows across 67 territories.
“I am thrilled that Andrew has agreed to take on this hugely important role within Fremantle,” said Mullin. “Our Global Entertainment business has been and always will be crucial to our success. 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.”