ITV Scuttles Plan to Buy Weinstein Company’s TV Division

The British commercial network backs out of a nearly $1 billion deal, according to reports

Last Updated: May 26, 2015 @ 10:26 AM

British network ITV has walked away from a $950 million deal to acquire The Weinstein Company’s TV division, according to reports on Tuesday.

TWC, whose TV hits include the “Project Runway” franchise on Lifetime, had been in negotiations with ITV since earlier this spring after hearing bids from other suitors, including Endemol and Sky. The company had been toying with spinning off its TV unit since July 2014.

ITV declined to comment on the speculation.

TWC has been a reality powerhouse in recent years. In addition to “Project Runway” and its spinoffs, the company produces “Mob Wives” and “Mob Wives Chicago” on VH1 and “Myrtle Manor” on TLC.

The company has also expanded into scripted series, with a second 10-episode season of “Marco Polo” due on Netflix this fall. Series in TWC’s pipeline include “10 Commandments,” which will bring star power behind the scenes with directors like Lee Daniels, Ryan Coogler and Wes Craven — all past Weinstein collaborators — contributing segments.

The proposed TWC deal would have continued ITV’s acquisition-driven expansion into production and development. In 2013, paid $30 million for a controlling interest in U.S. shingle Thinkfactory Media, producer of the Emmy-winning “Hatfield & McCoys” miniseries for History.

Last year, the British TV powerhouse bought a majority stake in “Teen Wolf” producer Diga Vision as well as Letfield Entertainment Group, whose reality hits include “Pawn Stars” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

More to come.

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