TV event unveils lineup topped by Alphabet's "Body of Proof"
ABC will take centerstage at Italy’s Rome Fiction Fest, where the Alphabet’s new procedural, “Body of Proof,” will world preem as the opener July 5 and ABC Studios will receive the event’s first award for industry excellence.Barry Jossen, exec VP of creative and production for ABC Entertainment, will receive the honor on behalf of ABC Studios, which will be celebrated with a special focus titled Back to ABC, featuring a selection of its skeins spanning from “Zorro” to “Lost.” Jossen will also hold a master class. “Starting this year, every edition will focus on a U.S. major and we are very honored that it’s ABC kicking off this practice,” said Steve Della Casa, artistic topper of the fest, now in its fourth edition. On Friday, the Eternal City extravaganza, dedicated to boosting the Italo TV industry and showcasing the best scripted TV content from around the globe, unveiled a rich mix of international and local skeins, peppered with stars who will appear during its six-day run. These include Andy Garcia, who will hold a master class and receive a career nod; Erika Christensen, who will host the pilot of NBC’s “Parenthood”; and “Treme” protags Wendell Pierce and Khandi Alexander, who will tubthump the HBO serial drama in Italy alongside helmer Agnieszka Holland. LL Cool J attended the fest’s Rome presser in his guise as protag of CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles,” screening in Rome as a special event. Other international fiction fare on display will include BBC sci-fi series “The Day of the Triffids,” Israeli teen vampire series “Split,” Gallic shock doc “The Game of Death” from pubcaster France 2, and “Memoirs in China,” a contempo family drama marking the event’s first Chinese skein. Clearly gunning to gain international cachet, the Rome TV event has appointed former Granada USA and Sony TV Europe production topper Antony Root to head its budding mart to be attended by some 100 international industryites. Fest’s industry side also features former Banff World TV Festival topper Pat Ferns running Market Simulation pitching sessions.