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Perry's LWT: distribution to take a back seat.

Upstairs, Downstairs, the first U.K. major costume drama series that was bought by PBS, demonstrates London Weekend Television International's (LWTI) high level of standards. The series picked up eight Emmy awards in the U.S., and has been sold to 70 countries.

As the international sales division of London Weekend Television, the weekend broadcaster for the London region, LWTI plans to maintain its solid reputation through high quality products like Agatha Christie's Poirot; Dempsey and Makepeace, starring Michael Brandon; and Jekyll and Hyde, starring Michael Caine.

In 1990, the company won the Queen's Award for Export Achievement, for their TV movies, dramas, light entertainment and current affairs product. It has sold to about 130 countries worldwide.

Now that the broadcast arm has retained its franchise for a mere F-7.85 million, and will continue transmitting to more than 10 million viewers for another 10 years, LWTI's managing director Sydney Perry and his team can pursue their mission to become the U.K.'s largest sales house linked to a broadcaster. With LWT planning to contribute 105 hours of programming a year to the new ITV network, there should be no shortage of product for LWTI's catalogue.

Perry admitted that LWTI's activities will slow down until a new Channel Three program scheduling system is established. "The ITV channel is trying to sort itself out in terms of centralizing its schedule. In the meantime, distribution will have to take a back seat."

New LWTI launches at MIP-TV include Sam Saturday, a six-part, one-hour contemporary mystery drama series, set in London, about the dangers confronted by a young Jewish police detective who lives with his over-protective mother. It was commissioned from independent producers Cinema Verity and Table Top Productions.

Also available is Red Fox, a contemporary thriller about terrorism and political intrigue. The star, John Hurt, won a best performance award at the Monte Carlo festival for his role.

"In this year's catalogue, we feature comedy and drama classics. What we have done is repackage them and market them differently. For instance, we have highlighted our old comedy classics, which we have never done before. It's a question of finding anew way of selling popular old material."
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Title Annotation:Sydney Perry's London Weekend Television
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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