CTIT steady in Asia

Fall slate buoys company after exec's exit

SINGAPORE — Despite the departure of Columbia TriStar Intl. Television’s top Asian exec William Pfeiffer, it’s business as usual at the Hollywood major’s outpost. So said exec VP for international networks Jon Petrovich, who points to a healthy slate of locally produced programming.

Pfeiffer’s replacement will be Dewey Ip, reporting directly to CTIT president Michael Grindon, who assumes responsibility for the licensing and syndication of existing and new programming.

The latter includes the Chinese version of “Charlie’s Angels,” which has been in production nearly a year already, and is due to air in September.

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

Official sanction

Although production costs might be lower in China, the new series is subject to approval by the authorities, slowing the process considerably.

For Asia 2002, 30 one-hour-episode dramas are being produced, also for mainland and greater China. Of these, only one has a working title: “The Rich and Famous Governor.”

Over at Sony’s theatrical arm, six more Chinese movies over two years are planned in the wake of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s” success. Similarly, six Bollywood movies in India are planned over two years, Petrovich said.

The budget of $15 million is still being recruited, he added.