Rysher enters pic prod’n

Rysher Entertainment unveiled a six-picture, medium-budget slate of features as the TV syndicator begins its big push into the fiscally challenging world of pricey pix.

The biggest ticket on Rysher’s production list is a dancing pic, “It Only Happens With You,” written by “Dirty Dancing” scribe and co-producer Eleanor Bergstein.

Rysher plans to spend $ 18 million on the film. No cast has been set for the love story about three couples who intersect in a New York ballroom. Pic begins shooting in Gotham this summer.

“Now is the appropriate time for the genre to come back again,” said Meggan Kimberley, Rysher’s senior veepee of international sales.

As with “Dirty Dancing,” Bergstein selected the music first, then wrote the screenplay.

Rysher — the company behind “RoboCop: The Series” and “Highlander: The Series,” among others — also will release “Judicial Consent” starring Bonnie Bedelia as a Supreme Court judge trying to clear her name; and “Shattered Image, ” toplining Bo Derek as a former model investigated in the murder of her husband.

Rysher is in post-production on “Rule of Obsession” starring “Quantum Leap”-er Scott Bakula. And the syndie is in pre-production on “The Rhinehart Theory,” starring Christopher Reeve, and “Perfect Alibi” starring Teri Garr and Hector Elizondo.

Rysher began to make the move into feature films with the hiring earlier this month of Rob Kenneally as exec VP of creative affairs (Daily Variety, Feb. 8). Kenneally, who came from Reeves Entertainment, will push both network and movie production at Rysher.

And while history is rife with examples of companies that have failed to make a go of movie productions topping $ 10 million, Rysher comes to the party with its deep-pocketed parent Cox Communications.

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