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ACI reveals packages for domestic syndie

ACI, the international entertainment company formed in 1989 by eight major telepic producers, has unveiled off-net and firstrun movie packages as its initial offerings for the domestic syndication market.

The off-net package, “FilmLeader I,” consists of 18 titles, including the Roseanne and Tom Arnold TV pic “Backfield in Motion” and reality-based titles such as “The Preppie Murder.”

ACI will sell the package on an all-barter basis, with the stations and distrib each getting 12 minutes of advertising time when it premieres in September 1993.

Separately, ACI plans to offer stations four original telefilms for firstrun syndication under the title of “FilmLeader Premieres” beginning in early 1994.

Michael Weiser, exec VP of the company’s incipient domestic distribution wing , said the package is the first specifically geared for firstrun syndication by a group of indie producers specializing in movies.

The four titles that make air will emerge from a slate of 40 male-oriented action-adventure and mystery-thriller telefilms in development by the various producers.

ACI plans to license the package on a cash-plus-barter basis, with most of the inventory held back for the stations, per Weiser.

With its entry into the firstrun arena, Weiser noted that ACI could eventually expand its original syndie fare to include series.

“We’re open to all different things,” he said.

He acknowledged there is a possibility that ACI, with its eight producers producing more than 20% of pics licensed by U.S. networks, may add more. They would specialize in different genres than its current lineup, which includes the Avnet/Kerner Co., Robert Greenwald Prods., Leonard Hill Films, Michael Jaffe/Spectacor Films, the Konigsberg/Sanitsky Co., the Steve Tisch Co., von Zerneck/Sertner Films and Steve White Prods. ACI has already made acquisitions from non-associated indie producers, including a recently announced agreement to distribute the telepix from Tony Masucci’s FTM Prods.

Since its inception, ACI has accumulated a library of more than 80 titles without previous syndication or cable exposure.

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