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BBC mart hits $26 mil

BBC Enterprises’ five-day program market, Showcase, generated deals worth T 18 million ($ 26 million), the event’s best performance ever. More than 320 buyers representing more than 164 broadcasters in about 40 countries attended the event in the seaside resort town of Brighton last week.

Sue Elkington, Enterprises’ director of Europe, said: “We are always amazed at how well we do at Showcase and think we can never better the previous year’s performance, but we always do.”

Last year Showcase generated business worth $ 22.2 million, $ 4.5 million up from 1992.

Among the most requested programs at Showcase were the $ 9 million costumer “Middlemarch” and the Emmy award-winning sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.””Middlemarch” has yet to clinch a U.S. sale, but the series has been sold to Scandinavia, Israel, Holland, Ireland and Eastern Europe.

U.S. cable web A&E bought the acclaimed documentary series “Thatcher: The Downing Street Years” and hit drama “Lovejoy.”

French broadcaster M6 concluded a drama package including “A Dark Adapted Eye ,””Grushko,””Calling the Shots,””Thicker Than Water,””Gallowglass,””Friday on My Mind,””Impossible Spy” and “An Affair in Mind.”

In Italy, RAI-1 bought controversial drama “Buddha of Suburbia,” while RAI-2 signed a deal for “Thicker Than Water.”

One of the most significant agreements confirmed at Showcase was selling the format to hospital drama “Casualty” to Germany’s RTL. Enterprises has recently decided to adopt a more aggressive stance to format rights, and the “Casualty” deal is understood to be worth more than $ 375,000, which makes it one of the biggest of its kind for the BBC. Dutch producer John de Mol will make the series.

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