Euro Buyers seem bent on doing biz in L.A.
The L.A. Screenings picked up the pace Tuesday with a number of closed-door sessions with TV station program buyers on several Hollywood studio lots.
Buyers from Europe, in particular, are flush with dollars purchased with a buoyant euro, and they seem bent on doing biz in Los Angeles.
While some Hollywood studios are reluctant to disclose programming deals — saying variously that they like to leave the announcements to buyers or that it’s simply too early — the Mouse House is letting it be known that it’s ringing up the bucks.
For the first time in years, Disney can boast buzz, from “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” perfs abroad, and is busy building on that bonanza with its seven new dramas.
Greece’s pubcaster ERT has already obliged, inking a deal Monday with the company’s foreign sales arm, Buena Vista Intl. TV, for a wide-ranging package of movies, series, telepics and toons for tots.
Deal was unveiled late Tuesday by the company’s top European sales exec, Tom Toumazis, and by ERT prexy Christos Panagopoulos.
As part of the agreement, ERT is picking up rights to “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” as well as “Extreme Makeover.” Channel will launch a five-day-a-week one-hour branded Disney Channel slot targeted for Greek kids.
ERT also has licensed from BVITV the educational series “Magic English,” which is designed to help kids abroad learn the language along with Disney characters.
“We believe that our programming through the three ERT channels will be stronger and more competitive, offering the Greek audience content based on an international brand such as Disney,” Panagopoulos said.
In another deal involving mostly back catalog titles, John de Mol’s Dutch broadcast group Talpa has picked up a package of movie, minis and assorted product for its startup channel Tien, which will launch in August.
Dutch deal includes “Seabiscuit,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Under the Tuscan Sun,” as well as sitcom “Life With Bonnie” and stalwart format “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
Deal was put together by Toumazis with Talpa topper Harold Oomes.
“The titles involved will be a tremendous help in getting Tien off to a great start,” Oomes said.
Dollar amounts on these deals were not available.
Meanwhile, the 1,500 foreign TV program buyers in town for the 10-day event continued to fan out across the six major studios to view the 40-odd new primetime series on offer.
Paramount hosted a party for all the buyers on its lot Tuesday night; the same contingent moves to the Sony lot today and on to Fox Thursday. The event at Fox also will be a celebration of the studio’s 70th anniversary.