(October 3, 2006 - Burbank, CA) — On the eve of MIPCOM 2006, Warner Bros. International Television (WBITV) has struck format deals with Russian broadcasters for locally produced versions of classic U.S. hit comedy series “Suddenly Susan,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Step by Step” and “Full House,” it was announced today by Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television. Additionally, the Studio has renewed the format pact for another season of “The Bachelor” in Slovakia, where it broke viewership records last summer; signed a new deal for a version of the show in the Czech Republic; and is aggressively marketing the production rights to a number of reality and scripted series in its vast library, under the leadership of Denis Leroy, Vice President, Format Licensing and Production. Given the success of “The Bachelor,” WBITV is actively working with colleagues at Warner Horizon Television to identify additional entertainment concepts and reality format opportunities for international production. Additionally, the Formats group is pursuing rights to successful original local Formats that Warner Horizon Television could consider for production for the U.S. marketplace. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with our partners at Ren TV, AMEDIA and CTC, respectively, to produce high-quality Russian productions of these four classic Warner Bros. comedies,” said Denis Leroy, Vice President, Format Licensing and Production. “The humor and relationships inherent in the original versions of these series are universally relatable, and we look forward to bringing these stories to life for viewers in Russia.” “The performance of ‘The Bachelor’ has been impressive throughout Europe, and we can’t wait to begin work on the new version of the show for the Czech Republic,” said Steve Wynne, Director of Production, WBITV. Following are the recent deals concluded by WBITV, to be produced with international partners under the supervision of Leroy and Wynne: * “Perfect Strangers”: WBITV has partnered with production company AMEDIA to produce 50 episodes of this comedy, which debuted September 25 on Ren TV in Russia, to stellar ratings. In the Russian version, mismatched roommates “Larry” and “Balki” have become “Ivan” (played by Artem Semakin) and “Andrei” (Anton Eldarov). Andrei arrives from his remote ex-Soviet republic and moves straight into the flat of his Moscow cousin, Ivan, where cultures clash between the two dissimilar characters. * Suddenly Susan”: In conjunction with CTC in Russia, WBITV is in the midst of casting for an adaptation of the comedy which starred Brooke Shields in the U.S. CTC has committed to producing 40 episodes of the series. Pre-production has just begun, with casting underway. * “Step by Step” and “Full House”: WBITV is about to begin production on both of these series, also with Russia’s CTC. Forty episodes of “Step by Step” and 20 of “Full House” have been ordered. * “The Bachelor”: Partnered with Central European Media Enterprises (CME), WBITV produces highly successful versions of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” in Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The two companies have just struck a new deal for “The Bachelor” to return for a second season on Markiza TV in Slovakia, where it broke viewership records and ranked as the #1 series of the summer. Additionally, WBITV has struck a deal with Nova TV in the Czech Republic for rights to produce a version of “The Bachelor” for that country. “The Bachelorette” recently premiered on Nova TV in Croatia, and a second season just concluded this summer on Pop TV in Slovenia. * Additionally, WBITV produced local versions of “The Bachelor” in Belgium, Hungary, Norway, Denmark and Sweden with partner SBS Broadcasting. All the leading European broadcasters, including M6, RTL and BBC3, produced their own successful versions. “The Bachelor” has also become an Internet sensation in Eastern Europe, where the station has a dedicated website. In France alone, two million unique visitors took part in an interactive “Bachelor” website. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of feature films, television programs and animation to the international television marketplace (broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital platforms, etc.). It licenses some 48,000 hours of programming (including more than 6,000 features and 74 current series), dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 languages, to telecasters and cablecasters in more than 175 countries.
# # #