Rysher Ent. lands ‘F/X,’ will produce 2 web pilots

Rysher Entertainment, already on the air with three firstrun action hours, has acquired another feature-film property for that market, “F/X,” in addition to taking its first steps into network production with pilots at CBS and Fox Broadcasting Co.

Like the recently introduced “RoboCop: The Series,””F/X” has been licensed from Orion Pictures as a co-venture of Skyvision Entertainment and Rysher, which will distribute the series while Skyvision handles worldwide merchandising. Plans are to shop the series (based on a pair of successful movies starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy) among the networks before deciding on the firstrun route.

Rysher has also become a production partner and distributor on two hourlong pilots: “VR,” a sci-fi show about a woman who can pass into a virtual-reality universe, from producer John Sacret Young for Fox; and “One Waikiki West,” a detective series set in Hawaii from veteran producer Glen A. Larson.

“Charlie’s Angels” alumna Cheryl Ladd has been set to star in “One Waikiki,” along with Richard Burgi. Lori Singer (“Footloose”) will headline her first series as the lead in “VR.”

Rysher president Keith Samples recently brought former Fox and Reeves Entertainment exec Rob Kenneally aboard as exec VP, creative affairs, supervising production for the company (Daily Variety, Feb. 8).

Kenneally noted that Rysher is pursuing arrangements that offer producers a larger piece of the backend on their projects in lieu of the large deals by the major studios. “We’re finding a real receptive ear out there,” he said.

Rysher will produce two-hour versions of both pilots for the purpose of international sales. In addition to “RoboCop,” the company’s current firstrun action slate includes “Thunder in Paradise” and “Highlander: The Series,” with a new RHI Entertainment series of “Lonesome Dove” to bow next season.

The “F/X” deal was put together through International Creative Management.

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