Canadian beckon

Alliance buys Citadel Entertainment

MONTREAL — Alliance Communications Corp. announced Tuesday that it has inked a deal to acquire Los Angeles-based TV production company Citadel Entertainment from Home Box Office and United Broadcasting & Entertainment.

Toronto-based Alliance has upped its TV production significantly in recent years, supplying movies and series to the U.S. networks and cable outlets, but this is the first time that the Canadian company has made a major acquisition in the TV production field.

Alliance picks up Citadel’s development slate, which includes approximately 20 TV movies, but the deal does not include Citadel’s library. Alliance chairman and CEO Robert Lantos declined to reveal financial details of the transaction. He said Alliance decided to make the acquisition to up its presence in the network movie scene in the U.S.

“It dovetails with everything we want to do,” said Lantos. “This is a classy company and they make classy TV movies. This will give us a bigger broadcast network component, which is what we’re looking for. This was too good to pass up. It’s a stellar slate of projects that have a lot of international value and are all at an advanced stage with the networks.”

Alliance will likely keep Citadel as a separate division of Alliance Communications.

Citadel CEO to ankle

Lantos also confirmed that Citadel CEO David R. Ginsburg will be ankling the company.

Citadel has produced MOWs for all the major networks and cable channels. Recent Citadel-produced telefilms include “Cinderella” and “The Devil’s Child” for ABC; “Rasputin” and “Citizen X” for HBO; “Match Made in Heaven” for CBS; “Roswell” for Showtime; and “Pandora’s Clock” for NBC. Upcoming projects include “Buffalo Soldiers” for TNT and “Gia” for HBO.

Alliance and Citadel worked together a decade back, co-producing two TV movies — “Trial and Error” and “Ordeal in the Arctic.” Alliance is set to produce 120 hours of TV programming this year, more than double the company’s output last year.

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