Rigel pacts for ‘Robocop’ series rights

A newly formed distribution entity — Rigel Independent Distribution and Entertainment — has just picked up international distribution of “Robocop: The Series,” a high-tech action-adventure hour slated to begin shooting this October.

Rigel has entered into a distribution agreement with Canada’s Skyvision Entertainment for the international TV and homevideo rights to the 22-episode series and will advise and develop distribution strategy for future Skyvision product outside the U.S. and Canada.

Backed by unspecified foreign investors and based in Amsterdam, Rigel has hired John Laing in the U.S. to advise on all foreign distribution, sales and acquisitions activities. Laing, formerly president of Orion Television Intl., worked closely with Skyvision and Rigel on the successful acquisition of the “Robocop” rights from Orion Pictures and Metromedia to create the TV series.

Rigel has also retained Claire Raskind, a former publicist at Miramax, to consult on international marketing of all TV and film product.

The series has already been sold in several European territories, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey, and in Korea and Malaysia, among others, said Laing. Other deals on the series will be finalized at the Mipcom TV market in October.

The two-hour pilot will be penned by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, the duo behind the original feature film. Rysher/TPE will handle domestic syndication of the series.

In addition to “Robocop,” Rigel has also acquired the international rights to Norman Jewison’s Yorktown Prods.’ “The Painted Word,” two 90-minute TV specials in which film directors turn their favorite piece of art into live-action stories.

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