Wheelhouse, Merlin to Develop Reality TV Based on Global Attractions


Could renowned attractions such as the London Eye or the Sea Life aquariums be getting their own TV shows?
That’s part of the plan following a new partnership between Brent Montgomery’s media company Wheelhouse and Merlin Entertainment.
Under the deal, announced Thursday, Wheelhouse and Merlin will develop “original entertainment” programs inspired by the various global attractions in Merlin’s portfolio, including The London Eye and Sea Life, plus Alton Towers, Chessington’s World of Adventures and Warwick Castle. The companies said the programs developed would “span a diverse range of genres, including reality, documentary and game show.”
Merlin owns over 140 attractions across 23 countries, more landmarks than any other entertainment destinations company. Wheelhouse, meanwhile, is behind original series for Netflix, Hulu and Max, as well as a wide variety of U.S. cable and broadcast networks. Prior to launching Wheelhouse, Montgomery was CEO of ITV America, which produces international hits including “Hell’s Kitchen”, “Queer Eye” and “Alone”.
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“Currently our guests have to come visit us in person to enjoy the immersiveness of our 140+ theme parks and attractions in 89 cities around the world, but our ambition is to amplify how we bring joy, create connections and make memories for even more than the 62 million guests who visited us in 2023, said Merlin CEO Scott O’Neil. “Through creative innovation and storytelling, our partnership with Wheelhouse will allow us to bring a new dimension to our stories, characters and IP on the largest platforms in the world: TV and entertainment programming. Wheelhouse understands and loves our brands as much as we do, and our partnership will help to create entertaining TV programmes that spotlight our diversity of experiences to iconic landmarks.”
Glenn Hugill (“Deal or No Deal,” “The Mole”), Wheelhouse chief content officer and president of the company’s U.K. division, will drive and oversee the Wheelhouse-Merlin slate.
“It’s a great privilege to develop a roster of new programming around Merlin’s world-famous and iconic attractions, and we’re eager to deploy Wheelhouse’s full arsenal of creative and business capabilities in this partnership,” Montgomery said. “This is what we’ve built Wheelhouse to do, and with Merlin the possibilities are endless; we’re excited to get to work.”


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