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Reeves, New World end deal

New World Entertainment and Reeves Entertainment Group said late Thursday that they’ve mutually agreed to terminate New World’s proposed acquisition of Reeves’ assets — only a few weeks after announcing completion of their agreement (Daily Variety, Aug. 6).

According to a terse two-paragraph press release, Reeves will continue to produce the ABC daytime series “Home”– considered the company’s most viable asset — as well as the NBC drama “Homicide: Life on the Street” (which has a four-episode order for next season) and Nickelodeon’s “What Would You Do?”

Other Reeves assets and the company’s library “will be sold or put into distribution with third parties,” said the statement from MCEG Sterling Administrations, which was charged with the sale or transfer of Reeves — a condition of former parent Thames TV’s acquisition by Pearson PLC.

What caused the Reeves-New World deal to come apart remains unclear. The parties had announced only a few weeks ago that they had concluded their transaction after reaching an agreement in principle in early June.

The latest development would also appear to leave in the air certain executives who were expected to move to New World as part of the arrangement. Neither New World nor MCEG officials could be reached to elaborate.

New World, a strong overseas distribution outfit, is part of the holdings of financier Ronald O. Perelman, who recently acquired a half-interest in domestic distributor Genesis Entertainment. Reeves’ product was seen as filling a need for product to distribute created by Perelman’s stake in Genesis and New World.

One complicating factor may have been that much of the Reeves library — including such sitcoms as “Kate & Allie” and “Gimme a Break”– is already tied up via distribution deals with third parties.

The companies indicated last month that Reeves president Richard Reisberg would act as a consultant to both New World and MCEG Sterling in regard to Reeves’ properties.

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