Company producing series version of ‘Freakonomics’

Branded content production shingle Radical Media is ramping up its TV development, starting with a series version of the bestselling book “Freakonomics.”

The company is working with author Stephen Dubner to develop several variations on the title. Levitt will appear on the show, which is being shopped to nets.

“We think of this as a new kind of TV franchise,” he said. “There are a few different ways we can tackle this, depending on the network. We’re pitching this with a variety of formats in mind.”

The show would investigate a wide range of topics: from the inner workings of a crack gang to whether walking drunk is more dangerous than driving drunk.

For new cabler Centric, Radical is working on a new docu-style, celeb-driven series and a docusoap set inside the Miami City Ballet.

Radical is producing one of the new Oprah Winfrey Network’s signature shows, “Masterclass” — hosted by Winfrey herself. “Masterclass” follows high-profile leaders as they tell their personal stories.

At MTV, Radical is behind the longform doc “Summit on the Summit,” which runs next week. Project follows stars, such as Jessica Biel and Emile Hirsch, who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity. They also produced “Summit” with Procter and Gamble, which is integrating messages for its new Pure water purification system. “We’ve found, even when the marketplace was tight, interesting and smart ways (for advertisers) to get their messaging across,” Friedman said.

The exec said about half of the company’s development is generated internally, while the other half comes from marketers “coming to us with an idea or a challenge for which they’re looking for a solution.”

Radical Media was also behind AMC’s “Storymakers,” the doc “The Fog of War” and the pilot to “Mad Men.”

Among returning shows, “Iconoclasts” received a six-episode order for its fifth season.

Variety

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