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Mipcom 2001 Bits

Lions Gate TV will bring sci-fi actioner “Tracker” and reality show “Break In” to Mipcom.

The former toplines Adrian Paul of “Highlander” fame and will launch in domestic syndication in October. The latter is a high-concept game format from reality-meister Bruce Nash that requires contestants to break into a high-security compound and retrieve a well-guarded object.

Industry vet Ira Bernstein, who joined the company in July, will head the worldwide sales efforts on the Croisette.

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Hallmark Entertainment will come to the Riviera with 60 hours of new programming, including a clutch of period pieces and bios of legendary writers. Among them are four-hour minis about Hans Christian Andersen and of Mark Twain.

On the telepic front, the company is unveiling “King of Texas, which re-creates the story of “King Lear” in the Old West. The cast includes Patrick Stewart, in the title role; Marcia Gay Harden; Lauren Holly and Roy Scheider. Production will air on TNT this fall.

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“Jay Jay the Jet Plane,” a PBS kids show distribbed by Porchlight Entertainment and aimed at 2- to 7-year-olds, has already landed on Britain’s Channel 5 and will try to rack up other clearances at Mipcom.

“Channel 5 is a prime example of localization. They are using a local host and have chosen to revoice all the characters to make it more identifiable to the channel’s preschool viewers,” Porchlight senior VP Michael Jacobs says.

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Lakeshore Intl. has snapped up worldwide rights to the dot-com drama “Purpose,” which toplines Mia Farrow, Paul Reiser and Hal Holbrook.

Pic is directed by composer Alan Lazar, who co-scripted with Ronnie Apteker. The company’s international sales prexy, Stephanie Denton, will be heading the team selling the pic as well as the company’s catalog of 350 movies.

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CableReady will bring an international version of New York City lifestyle magazine series “Gotham TV” to the market.

Divided into sections such as “Only in New York,” “Who’s Making It” and “The In Crowd,” Gotham TV is a fast-paced look at the hottest trends, people, and activities in and around the Big Apple.

CableReady will offer 26 half-hour episodes, with immediate availability; series is produced by Metro Channels.

Says CableReady prexyCEO Gary Lico: “We’ve culled through all the existing ‘Gotham TV’ footage to create an all-new series expressly designed for non-Americans who want to be on the cutting edge of lifestyle trends.”

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Betty Boop is back. An updated CGI animated cartoon series will hit the Croisette thanks to Mainframe Entertainment and Fleischer Studios.

“Betty Boop has been embraced by millions of people around the world for nearly a century and we are very proud and pleased to see her coming back to television,” says Mark Fleischer, a scion of the series original creator Max Fleischer.

Fleischer Studios was founded in the 1920s by Max Fleischer, who created Betty Boop and fellow toon Koko the Klown.

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Chinese TV companies will be coming in force to Mipcom with a series of high-profile events.

On Oct. 10, China TV Program Agency (CTPA) — a China Central TV (CCTV) company — will host a special focus on China as well as a premiere screening of Asian hit series “Blood Cold: Pride Hot.”

In addition, a national pavilion stand will be set up to showcase various Chinese companies.

During the conference, senior execs and public officials including Zhao Shi, vice minister for radio, film and TV, will explore the country’s changing media industry.

“Blood Cold: Pride Hot” bowed on CCTV in February and has been licensed widely in Southeast Asia. The series focuses on Linghu, a master of kung fu, who must confront various groups eager to conquer China. The series was so popular CCTV is reversioning the program into a telepic for Euro and American territories.

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Sesame Workshop has tapped CDC United Network as its Latin American sales agent to distribute its library episodes, including “Plaza Sesame” and “Dragon Tales,” which air in the U.S. on PBS.

CDC will report directly to Kerry Novick, Sesame Workshop’s director for international TV distribution in the Americas.

“The Workshop is equated with quality children’s programming and, having collaborated with licensees such as Mattel and Procter & Gamble in the past, means potential licensing opportunities for the Latin American market,” says CDC international sales director Maximilian Weiner.

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Playboy TV Intl. is jumping on the reality bandwagon with its first sexual reality-based show, “7 Lives Xposed.”

The series gives new meaning to “voyeur vision” as viewers step into the intimate fantasy lives of some of the most beautiful people in the world as they go behind the scenes — where the cameras never turn off.

Half-hour show follows the lives of seven ambitious young adults, living together in a loft, seeking fame and fortune by having their sex lives broadcast daily on the Internet on 40 cybercameras. The original series features adult star Devinn Lane.

“The success of reality programming like ‘Loft Story’ and ‘Survivor’ continues to highlight program trends worldwide,” said Playboy VP Andrea McBurnett.

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Actor Michael Damian has entered the first-run action genre with “Red Eye,” a spy series vehicle in which Damian will star, produce, direct and write.

Most widely known for his 18-year run as Danny Romalotti on “The Young and the Restless,” Damian is also recognized for his crossover success in the worlds of music and theater.

“Red Eye” was produced by Damian Entertainment in association with French broadcaster TF1 and Paris-based production group PM Films.

In the series, Damian plays the role of Julian Decker, an ex-CIA agent and special field operative with a mysterious agency whose mandate is to combat international crime and terrorism.

Damian will be at Mipcom to tout the series.

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TvFilmBiz Intl., headed by industry vet Scott Hanock, will be offering 30 hours of programming from producers including Bill Kurtis and the Kanter/Brownlee Co.

Among the docs on offer will be “Crash Files,” an inside look at the world’s foremost crash investigation agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, and “No Access,” a destination series featuring episodes on volcanoes, earthquake faults and ancient ruins.

“As our focus has been on providing niche-driven product to fill the needs of international buyers, we have been select in expanding our roster of programming,” Hanock says.

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