Blighty’s mightiest in Rose noms

89 programs in competish; Germany nabs second most finalists

HOLLYWOOD — Blighty again tops the list of finalists in the 42nd Golden Rose Festival, one of the most prestigious competitions for television programs, which takes place next month in Montreux, Switzerland.

The pre-selection juries, which gathered in Bern over the weekend, whittled the record 300 programs entered from 25 countries down to 89 for competition.

After the U.K., Germany had the second most finalists.

Jurors observed a trend in formats that feature less-than-flattering human characteristics, exemplified by the many gameshows that put contestants under intense psychological pressure. The talent show is also making a big comeback, with national “event” shows such as Spain’s “Operacion Trionfo” and the U.K.’s “Pop Idol.” Jurors were also surprised by how many sitcoms were set in the workplace and had gay themes.

Comedy, variety and gameshow nominees were selected by David Liddiment (ITV), Jorg Grabosch (Brainpool) and Vincent Gonnet (Point Prod.). Sitcoms, music and art shows and special programs that qualify for the Grand Prix de la Ville de Montreux were screened by George Anthony (CBC), Mani Hildebrand (SF DRS) and Rosanna Pedrini (RTSI).

Bennett-Jones chairs jury

Peter Bennett-Jones of the U.K.’s Tiger Aspect Prods. will chair the grand jury. Tiger Aspect, the only independent production company to win an honorary Golden Rose, produced last year’s Golden Rose winner, “Lenny Henry in Pieces.”

The 2002 Golden Rose Conference, to be produced in association with HMR Intl., will include sessions on the latest developments in the format business, the Indian entertainment market, entertainment strategies of international broadcasters, cross-media entertainment and another look into “The Crystal Ball.” Fest takes place April 23-28. For more details of the conference and other events, visit www.rosedor.com.

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