New Line, Warner Bros. locked in ‘Kombat’

New Line Television and Warner Bros.’ syndie arm are teaming for the first time on a firstrun syndie hour based on the “Mortal Kombat” franchise.

Skein, targeted for a fall 1998 launch, will be produced by Larry Kasanoff and Threshold Entertainment, which produced the 1995 box office hit “Mortal Kombat” and this year’s follow-up, “Mortal Kombat Annihilation.” Deal was unveiled Wednesday by Scott Carlin, executive VP of Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, and New Line TV prexy Robert Friedman.

The “Mortal Kombat” concept, derived from the popular videogame, is seen as a natural for the firstrun weekly landscape, dominated by reality-bending vehicles like Universal’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” and Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” In addition to feature films, “Mortal Kombat” already has made its way to the small screen as an animated series on the Fox Kids Network.

New live-action entry will feature generous helpings of martial arts displays and zippy special effects courtesy of Threshold Digital Research Labs.

Warner Bros. will offer the hour to stations for an even split of seven minutes of barter advertising time. There’s no word yet from WBDTD on whether “Mortal Kombat” will have a split syndie/cable window on one of the Turner basic cablers, as WB’s “Police Academy: The Series” presently does.

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