TV mini delayed due to script issues, economy

MOSCOW — Central Partnership’s $12 million, 24-part TV adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes detective stories has been delayed six months because of scripting problems and Russia’s acute economic crisis.

The series, due to be directed by Oleg Pogodin, was slated to start shooting this summer.

A deepening crisis in the entertainment industry — where TV series and films are being frozen by many companies and a recently established producers‘ association is forcing through steep cuts in crew wages and star fees — is causing many to put off making top dollar projects in the hope of catching a forecast upturn in 2010.

The CP version of Sherlock Holmes, a hugely popular character in Russia thanks to a classic 1980s Soviet TV version made by Igor Maslinikov that still frequently re-runs here, will use previously untold stories to give viewers a fresh look at the world of the most famous fictional 19th century resident of London’s Baker Street.

CP spokeswoman Yulia Kulikova said script problems were the key reason for the delay but that financial considerations had also played a part.

“Making films for television is now much riskier and the business plan of each project must be calculated much more carefully,” she said. “We decided it was better to wait until the scripts for all 12 sections of the series were finished.”

The company is in discussion with one of the major national Russian TV channels to find a buyer.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more