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Growing Alliance

Canuck giant boosts TV production 31%

MONTREAL — Alliance Communications will be upping its volume of TV production significantly this year.

The Canadian company will deliver 174 hours of TV programming, including 154 hours of drama and TV movies, and 39 half-hours of animation. This marks a 31% increase over last year, when Alliance delivered 133 hours.

37% revenue increase

The increase in production will result in revenues of more than C$240 million ($169 million) from Alliance’s TV division, up 37% from the previous year, when Alliance generated C$175 million ($123 million) from TV sales.

“Broadcasters have come to identify Alliance with quality product that enjoys wide audience appeal,” said Christine Shipton, senior vice-president of creative affairs at Alliance Television Prods.

Canadian cop show

Shows in the Alliance slate that have not previously been announced include “Cover Me,” a one-hour drama made for Canuck pubcaster CBC and centered around an RCMP officer in Alberta and a separatist Quebecois secret-service agent. The series will be shot in Ontario with Peter Lauterman executive producing.

“Big Bear” is a four-hour miniseries, again for CBC, that was penned by helmer Gil Cardinal and Rudy Wiebe from Wiebe’s Governor General Award-winning novel, “The Temptations of Big Bear.” Les Prods. Tele- Action/Kanata Prods./Blue Hill Prods. mini-series will be shot in Quebec and Saskatchewan, with Alliance distributing worldwide.

“Nightworld” is a series of six TV movies with otherwordly themes being made for UPN. They will be shot in Luxembourg with CLT-UFA co-producing, and Lewis B. Chesler and David Perlmutter serving as executive producers.

Then there’s the TV movie, “Shadow Warriors II,” top-lining Hulk Hogan, Shannon Tweed, and Carl Weathers in an actioner about elite corps of Navy Seals, and the animated series “War Planets,” the latest computer-generated outing from the creators of “ReBoot” and “Beast Wars.”

Other series on the slate include “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” a British Columbia-shot drama series made for CBC about senior coroner Dominic Da Vinci.

“Sins of the City,” which will air on the USA Network, is a crime show featuring a private investigator played by Marcus Graham (“Con Air”).

“Power Play,” to air on CTV/Baton in Canada, is the story of a sports agent who becomes manager of a floundering (does he mean “foundering,” as in sinking?) NHL franchise. “Betaville,” for the USA Sci-Fi Network, is another Chesler/Perlmutter production, in partnership with River of Stone Prods.

The lineup also includes the romantic comedy “Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy,” “Total Recall: The Series” (which Polygram is distributing in the U.S.), the syndicated series “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven,” and three Harlequin Romance movies for the Showtime pay service in the U.S. and CTV/Baton in Canada.

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