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DISCOVERY Channel has given the go ahead for its first scripted programme, an epic period miniseries about the gold rush in Alaska with the working title Klondike. The project, to be co-produced by Scott Free Television, Entertainment One and...

JAPANESE documentary maker Atsushi Kasezawa’s A Step Forward picked up The Best Pitch Award 2012 in the second edition of the Tokyo TV Forum (TTVF) held December 10-12. The three-day event, organized by the Association of All Japan TV Programme...

DQ Entertainment International (DQE) has inked a deal with toy manufacturer the Sun-Mate Corporation to be its master global toy partner for new 3D/CGI animated TV series The Jungle Book. The series first season is now airing in 165 countries around...

FRENCH kidfare production and distribution outfit Alphanim has announced a wave of new deals around the globe, including selling three of its animated series to premium US subscription channel Starz. Kids eco-travel show The Green Squad, the second...

CANNES Palm d’Or winner Michael Haneke’s Amour, took best picture, best director, best actor and best actress honours in the European Film Awards, the pan-Euro answer to The Oscars. The 81-year-old Jean-Louis Trintignant won best actor and 85-year-...

  PINEWOOD Shepperton studios is reporting a pre-tax profit of $4.8 million (£2.97 million) in the six month period ending September 30. The jump back to profitability from losses last year is despite a reported 30% slump in TV production...

Robot Combat League, US cable network Syfy’s new reality series, will debut February 26 with eight foot tall robots climbing into the ring with humans to test their mettle. The series will offer tournament style battles with 12 teams made up of a...

  THE future of international co-productions with Russia are in question following a shake-up that put the Russian Cinema Fund under the direct control of the Ministry Of Culture. The fund was set up in 2009 with an annual budget of $170...

A $US 80 million suit has been filed against Warner Bros by the J.R.R. Tolkien estate, its trustees, and publisher HarperCollins over online gambling and other digital merchandising. The suit charges Warner Bros, its New Line subsidiary, and The...

THE Observer is reporting that independent producer Miriam Segal has won funding for a six picture slate budgeted at $155 million (£96 million). Segal's track record includes award-winning Love Is The Devil and Good. Investors have reportedly been...

  KEY funding body Screen Australia has reported a 25% increase in drama production in the 2011/2012 fiscal year although TV drama production slid by 13%. US$646 million [AUD 623 million] was spent on TV and feature films such as The Great...

IN a transaction valued at $4.05 billion, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm, the creator of the 35-year old Star Wars franchise. Under terms of the agreement, Disney will pay half the agreed price in cash and issue...

PRESIDENT Francoise Hollande told Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a meeting October 29 to negotiate in good faith with French media outlets over content disputes and come to a solution by year-end. French media outlets want search engines to share some...

FRENCH president Francois Hollande will meet October 29 (today) with Google head Eric Schmidt over a controversial proposed bill that, if passed, would force search engines to pay for content. French newspapers want search engines to share ad...

PUBLISHING giants Random House and Penguin have agreed a much talked about merger that creates the world’s largest consumer book publisher. Random House owner Bertelsmann will take a 53% stake, Penguin’s owner Pearson a 47% stake in the newly...

SOCIAL media maverick Joanna Shields is to become the new chief executive of the UK’s Tech City Investment Organization. In what is being hailed as a significant coup for the current UK government, Shields, who is now vice president of Facebook and...

AUSTRALIA’S Nine Entertainment Co. has reached a debt restructure agreement that will wipe its debt slate clean and allow it to pursue digital opportunities. Investment bank Goldman Sachs and US hedge funds Apollo and Oaktree agreed in principal to...

Variety’s online pay wall will be taken down, new owner of the 107-year old entertainment icon Jay Penske has told staffers. Journalists have been frustrated that their content is less read online because the pay wall only allows subscriber access...

  IMAGINE Nation, the live entertainment, film and TV content company launched this week by Dutch industry veterans Robin de Levita and Kees Abrahams, has taken a 50% stake in Dutch independent format distribution specialist Absolutely...

  PRODUCT placement has always been part of the 50-year-old James Bond film legend but the 23rd Bond film Skyfall has fomented a pint sized brouhaha with an ad campaign that has Bond star Daniel Craig imbibing—not the iconic martini ‘shaken,...

  BELGIAN cable operator Telenet has given local programming a major shot in the arm with the announcement of a $US39 million [Euro 30 million] fund to boost Flemish drama, entertainment and formats. The four-year initiative—titled Telenet...

   FARM Factor, the Irish/Welsh agricultural reality format that has been credited with making farming sexy, has been optioned to six European territories. Deals have been inked for France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland,...

  THE world premiere of Hong Kong police thriller Cold War is set to open Asia’s biggest and most influential film event, the Busan International Film Festival, on October 4. The 17th edition of the festival features a line-up of 140 feature...

  TechnoLatinas, a growing band of South American entrepreneurial companies competing for attention, got plenty of it at the recent Disrupt San Francisco 2012. The term TechnoLatinas was coined by Buenos Aires entrepreneur Ignacio Pena who...

  NEW BBC director general George Entwistle has signalled a radical shake-up of the BBC structure put in place by predecessor Mark Thompson six years ago, The Guardian reports. Entwhistle told staff that the restructure was aimed at raising...

  MODERN Times Group has re-upped a raft of agreements for its free and pay TV arm Viasat Broadcasting, including extending the multi-year license pact with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution for premium and library movie rights in...

NORDIC indie production alliance the nice group has announced the re-launch of Limelight Film & TV as Rakett. Nice group CEO Morten Aass says Rakett, which means rocket in English, is an apt one for a company that is “young, fast, bold and a...

  SOUTH Korean rapper Park Jaesang (Psy) clearly knows his marketing as well as his music. His video Gangnam Style has picked up more than 110 million views on YouTube, ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s Social 50 chart, and also has its own...

  AMAZON.com has inked a multi-year deal with pay TV channel Epix to add films such as The Hunger Games to its roster of movies available through Amazon Prime Instant Video. The deal includes films from Epix studio partners Lions Gate...

TWITTER, which carries some 400 million messages a day, will begin allowing advertisers to directly target users based on data revealed in their tweets. Twitter says it will begin to actively sift through what each user is tweeting and reading to...

  ALL 100 episodes of the US sitcom Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, has been picked up by Bell Media owned CTV in Canada. The acquisition comes on the heels of US US cablenet FX’s recently giving the go ahead for 90 more episodes of...

  Dimension Films, a unit of The Weinstein Company, has pre-bought the US distribution rights for Angry Little God, an English language remake of the Thai film 13 Beloved. The original 2006 edition, directed by Chookiat Matthew Sakveerakul, is...

    THE UK’S Advertising Standards Authority has ordered BSkyB to stop exaggerating the speed of its film download service in ads that claim consumers can “rent movies instantly.” The watchdog, responding to a complaint by BT, which...

THE UK government’s plans to roll out a new tax incentive next April could usher in a new “golden age” of British television drama, reports The Observer. The tax incentive will drive down the cost of home grown productions and the need for UK...

DID Apple have a home court advantage? The ruling of the jury in San Jose, California, aka The Capital of Silicon Valley, continues to send tremors through the global media industry.  Chicago Sun Times www.suntimes.com

FRANCE is emerging as a hot new source for fresh fiction formats, reports Elsa Keslassy for Variety. The country’s robust film industry and its talent base now rapidly moving into TV, is being credited for the upsurge. Recent deals have included US...

THE acquisition by Chinese online video giant Youku of it chief rival Tudou Holdings, the second largest online video site in China, gives Youku a 30% share of the Chinese online market, The Hollywood Reporter says. www.hollywoodreporter.com

NETFLIX is aiming for global, not regional licensing deals, its chief content officer Ted Sarandos told an audience at the Edinburgh International Television Festival Sunday August 26. Netflix announced recently it would roll out its streaming...

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