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Orion signs ‘RoboCop’ series deal

Orion Pictures will receive a $ 500,000 cash infusion for the sale of worldwide TV licensing rights for a “RoboCop” series to Canada’s Skyvision Entertainment.

Skyvision — a division of the $ 5 billion Toronto-based John Labatt Entertainment Group — will produce 22 hour-long episodes at $ 1.2 million to $ 1.5 million each, according to Skyvision VP Kevin Gillis.

RoboCop” will be delivered in January ’94, several months after Orion releases the feature “RoboCop 3.” Casting is under way and Skyvision is negotiating with “RoboCop” star Peter Weller, says Gillis.

Orion has reportedly adopted a hands-off attitude about production, but Orion gets an undisclosed percentage of all foreign and U.S. sales.

“Germane to the deal with Orion,” says Gillis, “is that by being Canadian, we’re able to access (Canada’s official) co-production treaties,” opening up possible partnerships with producers in countries such as France and Germany.

“That was a major tickler for Orion. They realize by doing this, they get more production dollars on the screen. They have an ongoing percentage from foreign and U.S. sales. They get a slice of the pie. They have a vested interest and we have a vested interest,” says Gillis.

Skyvision was introduced to Orion by ICM’s Bob Sanitsky, who put Skyvision’s prexy Brian K. Ross in touch with Orion prexy Len White.

“We offered Orion a strategic partner,” explains Sanitsky, “one which has a $ 5 billion company (behind it) and has international coproduction experience.”

Skyvision is a co-exec producer of NBC’s “Secret Service” and the upcoming two-hour pilot for NBC, “Cold Warriors.”

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