Telescene powering up

Company touts $100 mil slate of series, telepix

MONTREAL — Telescene Film Group is upping its presence in the Canuck TV milieu thanks to a just-announced production slate of $100 million in series and telepics — a significant increase in production volume for the Montreal-based company.

Slate includes “Live Through This,” the first one-hour drama made for MTV. Series chronicles the lives of five young people, all kids of famous rock stars.

Telescene will also produce 26 half-hours of “Door to Door,” a mix of live-action and animation to be co-produced with Tele Images Creation of Paris in association with the Family Channel in Canada.

Action for Germany

In addition, Telescene has inked a long-term output deal with Germany’s TeleMunchen, giving the latter German-speaking rights to the next eight pilots for the Action Adventure Network, the Telescene-produced made-fors that air first on DirecTV in the U.S.

Telescene and TeleMunchen have also signed another output deal for the latter to acquire German-speaking rights to a package of six TV movies produced over the next two years.

Two Action Adventure projects have already gone to full series. “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World,” exec produced by John Landis, has been renewed for a second season of 22 episodes. It is distributed by New Line Television in the United States. “Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher,” the tale of a scientifically created WWII hero alive in 2000, will begin production this summer in Montreal, with a slate of 20 one-hour episodes.

Pilot pipeline

Four Action Adventure pilots are on the way: “Vikings”; “Witness to Fear,” with Clive Barker exec producing; “Halcyon,” with Wolfgang Petersen as exec producer; and “Secret Life,” with Roland Joffe exec producing.

“Broad distribution is planned for these productions in North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world,” Telescene CEO Robin Spry said.

Telescene will lense six pics based on novels by Jack Higgins, each budgeted at $3 million. Canadian-British co-productions pairing Telescene and Park Entertainment of London, the first two Higgins pics are “Angel of Death” and “The President’s Daughter.”

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