ProSieben, Discovery ‘Spacemen’ in orbit

Mip Brief

CANNES — U.S. billionaire producer Haim Saban’s German web ProSieben has inked with the BBC, BBC Worldwide and Discovery Communications to co-produce “Walking With Spacemen,” the next installment in the prestigious docu-fiction franchise, it was announced at the Mip TV mart here on Wednesday.

Project will be produced by Tim Haines and Jasper James through their London-based shingle, Impossible Pictures. Haines came up with “Walking With Dinosaurs” and “Walking With Beasts” while at the BBC.

“Walking With Spacemen” looks at astronauts and the exploration of the solar system in six 30-minute segs. At an estimated cost of £1.2 million ($1.88 million) per seg, it is set to equal the record set by “Dinosaurs” for spending on a docu.

“Spacemen” went into pre-production in January and is due for delivery in September 2004.

“It was difficult to know how to follow what we’d done before, but this is terribly exciting,” said Haines, speaking in London. “As before, we’re trying to use real scientific knowledge to create dramatic images. It allows us to add to all those things that made ‘Dinosaurs’ so good — special effects, escapism, excitement — and it’s informative.”

“For us, ‘Walking With Spacemen’ is a logical development in this successful collaboration,” said ProSieben managing director Nicolas Paalzow. “Together we have evolved from ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ to ‘Walking With Cavemen’ — a journey that has taken us across millions of years. Now we are set to take another step ahead.”

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