Polygram to distrib ‘Recall’ series in U.S.

TORONTO — Polygram Television, the broadcast division of the Dutch entertainment conglomerate, has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to “Total Recall: The Series,” a $27 million, 22-episode primetime actioner produced by Alliance Communications Corp. in association with TEAM Entertainment Group.

Bob Sanitsky, president of Polygram Television, said Tuesday the show will be the company’s headline series for fall 1998 when it will be launched in firstrun syndication.

“We believe this extremely successful movie franchise will have unlimited potential as a weekly television series,” Sanitsky said.

Domestically, Polygram is understood to be considering a dual pay cable/syndication distribution strategy for the show. MGM’s nascent TV division has found success with dual Showtime/broadcast syndication windows for its big-budget dramas “The Outer Limits” and “Poltergeist: The Legacy” in recent years.

The series is based on the 1990 Carolco theatrical feature “Total Recall,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, which grossed more than $350 million.

TEAM bought the TV rights to the property at a Carolco bankruptcy auction last year for $1.2 million.

Toronto-based Alliance first announced production of the series in January, but it took TEAM’s sale to Polygram and Alliance’s international pre-sales to greenlight production, which is scheduled to begin next March.

Alliance has international and Canadian distribution rights; TEAM oversees U.S. distribution; and they plan to jointly pursue merchandising and licensing opportunities.

Ron Shusett, who was producer/co-writer on the movie, has been hired as creative consultant for the series.

Making the announcement of the Polygram deal, Sanitsky was joined by TEAM chairman and CEO Drew Levin and Alliance Television chairman Todd Leavitt.

“We are delighted that Polygram has chosen this outstanding property as its marquee program for the ’98 television season,” Levin said.

Leavitt said “Total Recall: The Series” is getting enthusiastic response from international broadcasters, and Alliance has closed sales in a number of territories.

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