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‘RoboCop’ will patrol TV again

Rigel aims to revive action skein

“RoboCop” is about to return to the small screen.

L.A.-based producer-distrib Rigel has joined forces with Canada’s Fireworks Entertainment to bring the popular crime-fighting cyborg back. They are banking on the continuing appeal worldwide of American-style action hours.

The original “RoboCop” feature film grossed north of $100 million worldwide, while the TV series “RoboCop” ran for one season (1994-95) in syndication. The pilot and 21 episodes were widely distributed abroad by Rigel.

The agreement to make the telepics was inked recently by John Laing, president and CEO of Rigel, and Adam Haight, president of Fireworks, a subsidiary of CanWest Entertainment.

Under the banner RoboCop: Prime Directives, Rigel and Fireworks will produce four two-hour telefilms for delivery worldwide, beginning in July. The budget for the four together will be $15 million. Fireworks will handle domestic distribution; Rigel will take foreign.

All the telepics center around Alex Murphy, the slain police officer whose human remains have been implanted in a high-tech cyborg body. He patrols Delta City, a dangerous metropolis adjacent to old Detroit. Page Fletcher will play Robo.

The four MOWs will be produced and directed by Julian Grant (“Airborne,” “Hostile Intent”) and penned by writers Brad Abraham and Joseph O’Brien.

“There has been tremendous clamor for the hero’s return by programmers worldwide, and we look forward to meeting this global RoboCop appetite with four original movies,” Laing said.

Established in 1993, Rigel has spearheaded the production of nearly 200 hours of primetime television, accounting for almost $200 million in production.

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