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Col TriStar Int’l eyes wider share of Asia

Over 120 hours of local p'gramming over next year

SINGAPORE — With its sights set firmly on greater China and Taiwan, Columbia TriStar Intl. Television is upping its locally produced content in Asia.

CTIT exec VP Jon Petrovich, in the region for a Sony Entertainment Television meeting in India, tells Variety that more than 120 hours of local programming are planned over the next year.

CTIT was the first of the Hollywood majors to produce for local markets in local lingoes around the world, and after six years boasts thousands of hours of customized content airing from Berlin to Buenos Aires to Bombay.

‘Angels’ wing in

This includes the Mandarin-lingo version of “Charlie’s Angels” which is due to air in China in September.

“We have 28 one-hour episodes, and a movie produced in Taiwan to air in the greater China region,” says Petrovich. He adds that China is a priority market for CTIT and its panregional channel AXN Asia.

New series, which has been in production for nearly a year, must be approved by the Chinese authorities, a process that has slowed matters down.

Three dramas

Three new drama series are being produced for Asia, including greater China, in 2002. Of these, only one has a working title: “The Rich and Famous Governor.”

Petrovich says that the departure of CTIT’s top Asian exec, William Pfeiffer, will have no effect on company structure. Pfeiffer, who is “moving on,” is being replaced by Dewy Ip, reporting directly to CTIT president Michael Grindon.