Hamdon Ent. buying quartet of made-fors

Move a sign of TV movie biz pick-up

In a sign that the TV movie business is once again bustling, Hamdon Entertainment has locked up four new made-for titles for its international distribution pipeline.

The TV movie distribbery has secured three telepics now in production or pre-production for CBS and a fourth for ABC. The CBS projects are “Marriage of Convenience” toplining Jane Seymour and James Brolin, “Her Own Rules,” a Barbara Taylor Bradford romance, and “Love After Death,” with Carol Burnett and Walter Matthau.

The projects are from producers with whom Hamdon has long-term output deals for distribution rights. “Marriage of Convenience” is produced by Carla Singer Prods.; “Her Own Rules” comes from Adelson Entertainment; “Love After Death” is from Grossbart/Barnett Prods.

In addition, Hamdon has locked up a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films for foreign rights to the company’s latest TV movie project, “David and Lisa” based on the well-known 1962 feature film by Frank Perry. Lukas Haas, Brittany Murphy and Sidney Poitier topline. The first two Harpo made-fors, “The Wedding” and “Before Women Had Wings,” aired as branded “Oprah Winfrey Presents” events and drew high ratings on ABC. They, too, are handled internationally by Hamdon.

“These deals suggest a reaffirmation of the longform genre, with a number of high-profile talents making the crossover from movies to TV,” said Stephen Davis, CEO of Hamdon Entertainment. Internationally, too, Davis said, station buyers are increasingly turning to the U.S. telepic genre rather than paying big bucks for feature film rights.

Davis said his company, which is jointly owned by Britain’s Carlton Communications and Germany’s Studio Hamburg, is on track to handle 12 to 14 U.S.-made TV movies worldwide in 1998.