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Drama inching its way at the Screenings.

Although U.S. studios and networks continue to dominate the L.A. Screenings, Latin producer/distributors - along with American independents - are providing some competition and are trying to give the majors a run for their money.

This form Jack Singer, who has represented Latin Buyers for many years and who, though in semi-retirement, is doing "his thing" again at this year's Screenings. They get under way with showing at Warner Brothers on June 1 (there'll be a screening of Latin product by Chile's RTL a day earlier) and run through June 9.

According to Singer, there are no changes in the physical arrangements at the L.A. Screenings. there is still no central office coordinating the activities which, this year, are expected to generate lively attendance especially from Latin America where the economy is doing quite well, compared to Europe where it is not.

Perhaps not surprisingly in the light of international demand, the networks are back into action-adventures, a form which declined somewhat last year. Light family dramas are also in vogue, and a good many star names are sprinkled throughout the pilot and development listings. The percentage dramas seems to be down, at least on the pilot level, and reality shows are much in favor. Comedy, despite its problems in traveling abroad, is very much in evidence, but then comedies are a staple with American audiences. One the other hand mini-series are up. One can expect to see an estimated 100 hours of "long form" TV for the new season.

A pilot and development breakdown shows NBC with 8 dramas and 18 comedies, ABC with 11 dramas and 15 comedies and Fox with dramas and comedies evenly split at eight each.

Of course, all this may change once the shows actually picked up by the networks are made public in late May.

Observers see sideline independent activity at L.A. Screenings on the rise despite the obvious difficulty of prying buyers loose from their studio rounds.

The impression is that Latin distributors particularly are showing up in L.A. in ever-growing numbers, reflecting a developing trend in the region, pointing the way to the increasing popularity of shows in Spanish from Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, etc.

The American networks all are part of the L.A. Screening schedule, pushing their in-house productions. In the years to come, these shows are expected to grow significantly in number.

The focus in Los Angeles in on new shows which have been picked up by the networks, though Canadians and some European buyers are also interested in viewing pilots.

In terms of networks, NBC has the largest number of pilots (36), ABC and CBS have 26 each, and Fox has 16.

At NBC dramas, include - among others - Adventures, Inc. action-adventure from Spelling. Against the Grain, a family drama from Lorimar; Boy Meets Girl from TriStar TV; Cafe Americain, a comedy about an American working in Paris, from Lorimar; 50 Minute Man, abut a detective in the hands of a shrink, Friends and Lovers, Bunim-Murray Productions; Knightrider 2010 a drama from Universal; Westside Medical from Columbia TV and Sea Quest from Amblin and Universal TV, and Spelling's Winnetka Road.

CBS dramas include Summer from TriStar; Greyhounds from Stephen Cannell Productions; Arly Hanks from Hearst; Shenandoah, a Civil War yarn from David Gerber, and South of Sunset from Paramount.

ABC has Birdland about a psychiatric ward, from Columbia; Bodyguards, from Brillstein and Tristar, Divas from Lorimar; Do The Strand, a detective story from Columbia; Missing Persons from Stephen Cannell; My So-called Life, a coming of age story, from ABC Productions; NYPD Blue from Steven Bochco; Philly Heat about firefighters, from Reeves Entertainment and Profiles from Lorimar.

Fox contributes Adventures of Brisco Country from Warners; Aspen from Lorimar; Crescent City also from WB; Green Dolphin Street from Spelling; Mantis from Universal, The Messenger from ABC and the X Files from Fox.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Screenings, new network television programs
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Previous Article:Thirtysomething for MIP-TV.
Next Article:Miami or bust: NATPE '94.

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