Telescene, Medialab team

MONTREAL — Telescene Film Group of Montreal has teamed with Paris-based Medialab to produce a new futuristic, one-hour police drama series, “Escaping Eden,” which will make use of live-action characters set against computer-animated backdrops.

Medialab, which is co-owned by Canal Plus and Dutch pubcaster NOS, is a specialist in high-tech animation and computer effects.

An official Canadian-French co-production, the C$26 million ($19 million), 26-episode series will be shot in Montreal starting in the spring. The show is the second project from Telescene to mix live action and animation, following the teen sitcom, “Student Bodies,” which includes animated segments. “Student Bodies” made its debut in syndication in the U.S. via 20th Television this fall and is currently on the air in most major U.S. markets.

“Escaping Eden” is set a couple of centuries in the future, and the drama revolves around a police officer who tries to solve cases by working in tandem with his clone.

The deal was announced jointly by Medialab CEO Gerard Mital and Telescene president Robin Spry. Canal Plus and Telescene are splitting world rights, with Canal Plus taking most of Europe and Telescene handling North America.

“Based on our success with ‘Student Bodies,’ we are pleased to be back in this arena and to be working with Medialab, a true pioneer in the field of computer-animated programming,” Spry said.

Telescene also announced several appointments Monday, including the naming of Jennifer Chrein to the newly created position of senior VP, sales and marketing. Chrein most recently worked as VP of international sales for All American Fremantle Intl. Chrein begins work this week at Telescene’s New York office.

“We want to remain focused on production but still making sure we have relationships with all kinds of sales agents out there,” Telescene executive VP Paul Painter said.

Telescene has also brought on-board Canadian production veteran Chris Dalton as head of production and Diane Arcand as associate head of production. Both will be based in the company’s Montreal head office. The moves reflect the rapid growth Telescene has experienced in the past 12 months and the increased capitalization of the company following a recent public stock offering.

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