Fellowes’ ‘Titanic’ sets sail

Partners include ITV, ABC, Lookout Point, Global

ABC has picked up rights to a miniseries about the Titanic as part of a global consortium of TV networks taking part in the project.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Lookout Point and Canada’s Global TV are also lead partners on the skein, which starts filming this spring in Hungary.

Scripted by Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”), the miniseries is skedded to air in U.S. and Canada in April 2012, marking the centenary of the liner’s sinking. Simulcast transmission will be followed by preems in the other territories, including ITV in the U.K., Channel Seven in Oz, TV3 in Ireland, TVNZ in New Zealand, SIC in Portugal and SVT in Sweden.

Project is the second miniseries pickup made by ABC programming chief Paul Lee, who back in January greenlit an eight-hour miniseries to be produced by Salma Hayek based on the novel that inspired the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

ITV is attempting to beef up revenues from its non-U.K. activities and this project could help set the benchmark for what the web hopes will be a new era of international success.

One of the exec producers is Lookout’s Simon Vaughan, who oversaw previous ABC miniseries, including “Ben Hur” and “Diamonds.”

Program is being produced as a two-parter, with each part running for 90 minutes, and as a four-parter, with each episode lasting an hour.

(Andrew Wallenstein contributed to this report.)