Irell & Manella Completes 15th Reality Television Production with Mark Burnett

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Renowned Law Firm Noted for Creative and Innovative Deals in Entertainment and Reality Television

With the recent release of “The Contender,” Irell & Manella LLP has completed its 15th reality television production with Mark Burnett. The firm, internationally renowned for its expertise in intellectual property and entertainment, has worked closely with Emmy Award-winning television producer Burnett and provided groundbreaking legal work for his hit network series.

A pioneer in the field of reality television, Irell & Manella’s Entertainment Practice Group tackled uncharted territory, handling a number of extremely complex contracts and issues for shows such as “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” and “The Contender,” including many contestant issues, brand integration (widely considered the future of the advertising industry), format rights and other novel issues.

For work on these projects, Burnett sought assistance from Juliette Youngblood, Chair of Irell & Manella’s Entertainment Practice Group, and Clark Siegel, Co-Chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Group and specialist in entertainment transactional matters. In addition to their work with Burnett, Youngblood and Siegel are widely respected in the industry for their broad and diverse entertainment practice which includes projects for MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS and motion picture studios such as Paramount and MGM.

“Through the years, Irell & Manella has pioneered many of the industry’s most innovative deals,” said Youngblood. “The firm’s Entertainment Practice Group has consistently risen to the challenge in cutting-edge areas where deal architectures and legal precedents have not yet been developed.”

“Irell & Manella is not hesitant about being an innovator in new and emerging areas, such as reality TV, digital cinema, video-on-demand and wireless applications,” said Siegel. “We relish the opportunity to stretch our creative muscle in new areas.”

Projects that Irell & Manella’s Entertainment Practice Group worked on for Burnett include ten seasons of “Survivor,” “The Apprentice I, II and III,” “Casino,” and the recently premiered “The Contender.” The firm has also commenced work on Burnett's new untitled “Rock Star” project, slated for the summer of 2005 on CBS.

Background Notes

  • Emmy Award-winning television producer Mark Burnett was recently featured in Time magazine’s “Time 100” list of the most influential people in the world today; named on the “Top 101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment” list by Entertainment Weekly; and garnered the #1 position on TV Guide’s “Most Valuable Players” list. He has produced three “Apprentices,” ten “Survivors,” nine “Eco-Challenges” and recently premiered his new series, “The Contender.”
  • Juliette Youngblood is the head of the Entertainment Practice Group at Irell & Manella. She recently contributed articles to publications such as Broadcasting and Cable and Film Festival Today. Juliette sits on the Planning Committee and was a panelist at USC Law School’s 2004 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business.
  • Clark Siegel is Co-Chair of the firm's Intellectual Property Group and is included in The Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who in Cyberspace Law and Southern California Superlawyers. He has also authored a number of articles including, "Mobile Phone Ring Tones - Digital Technology Once Again Pushes the Envelope of Copyright Law," which was published in IP New Matter in 2003.
  • Irell & Manella LLP's transactional entertainment business practice involves the firm in virtually all areas of the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, theater, publishing, and music.
  • One of the leading law firms in the United States, Irell & Manella LLP was founded in Los Angeles in 1941. Dedicated to excellence, the firm is a full-service commercial law partnership with a professional legal staff now comprised of 222 attorneys, 86 of whom are partners.
  • Irell & Manella was voted the “Best Law Firm in California to Work For” by in 2003.
  • For 2004, the firm was also voted #1 in IP by industry legal guide Chambers.
  • For more information on Irell & Manella’s full range of professional legal services, visit the firm online at

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