Endemol, Southern Star renew pact

Co-venture on for another three years

SYDNEY — Endemol and Southern Star have renewed their Aussie co-venture for an additional three years and are confident they will soon close an Oz network commission for “The Salon.”

Created in 2000, Southern Star Endemol hit pay dirt with “Big Brother” — Network Ten has ordered a fourth season for next year.

Southern Star exec chairman Neil Balnaves said Monday, “The combination of their formats and our experience in the Australian television industry provides a strong base for further expansion of the business.”

Balnaves said Ten has taken an option through the end of next month on an Oz version of “Salon,” Endemol’s U.K. reality hit set in a hairdressing salon, and he expects it’ll be picked up.

Southern Star posted record sales at the Mipcom market, with Balnaves reporting increasing demand for its shows in the U.S. and key European and Latino markets. Among its top sellers were Oz reality format “The Block,” Brit crime drama “Wire in the Blood” and kidvid “Tracey McBean.”

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