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ITV buys WB film, two series

Broadcaster gets 'Vampire,' 'Potter,' 'Gossip'

Warner Bros. Intl. Television Distribution has sold drama “The Vampire Diaries” as well as feature film “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” to U.K. broadcaster ITV.

Deal, which also includes “Gossip Girl,” marks the first post-L.A. Screenings pickups for ITV. Rival Five just acquired Disney drama “Flash Forward” as new series readying to preem in the U.S. are now starting to find homes across the Pond.

“The Vampire Diaries” will air on the CW at 8 p.m. Thursdays; it premieres Sept. 10. Series will launch on ITV2 some time in 2010.

Although no financial arrangements were disclosed, WB Intl. TV prexy Jeffrey Schlesinger said, “The acquisition of ‘Vampire Diaries’ proves that in-demand series will still generate significant interest and license fees in the U.K.”

During May’s L.A. Screenings, there was plenty of chatter about how prices would be down for U.K.-bound programs in tough economic times and that bidding wars would be highly unlikely.

“Vampire Diaries,” based on the bestselling books by L.J. Smith, is exec produced by Kevin Williamson, Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy.

“Order of the Phoenix” is the fifth film in the franchise to be purchased by ITV.

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