Talent management and consulting company Sussex Ltd. has joined forces with the Ruffin Cos., a multifaceted real estate concern, to form Sussex-Rufco, a film and TV production company.

Sussex Ltd. president Bernie Weitzman, a former Lorimar and Universal exec, said the company’s first project will be “Assignment … Bahamas,” a telefilm/action adventure series pilot slated to lense this summer at the Nassau Marriott Resort, one of 11 Marriott operations owned by Ruffin Cos. Wichita, Kan.-based Ruffin Cos., wholly owned by Phillip G. Ruffin, has diverse holdings in real estate, lodging, retail and manufacturing, among other interests.

Although talks are being held with potential distribs, Weitzman said that, because there is no current network, cable or syndication commitment, Sussex-Rufco is funding the script, the telefilm and if necessary, initial episodes of the series.

“The series will be international in scope, each installment taking place in a different locale — London, Paris, Rome,” Weitzman said. “Cast members will be a cross-section of the world.”

He said the telefilm pilot and subsequent episodes would concern private detectives who have an unusual hobby — an internationally acclaimed sport — who get involved in derring-do. Casting calls for two male and two female leads.

Vet producer Herman Saunders (“Adam-12,” “F Troop”), a partner in Sussex Ltd. who’s producing the project, said the company is looking to make an association on an international level. “It could be an international co-production; since the Bahamas is part of the (British) Commonwealth, we can easily make deals with other Commonwealth countries.”

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