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Int'l buyers' opinions: it's a good one!

After all the parties (20), the red carpet treatment at the studios (including valet parking at MCA), the sumptuous breakfasts on the lot (WB) and the candlelight dinners on the set (Paramount), international broadcasters still have to deal with reality and buy new programs.

Most likely, they will be acquiring the good with the bad and, fortunately for them, the new U.S. TV season seems to be shaping up just fine.

"It's our impression that this is one of the better L.A. Screenings," said Chris O'Mara, program director for Australia's Nine Network. "In the past, we have had instances where we just walked away without buying even one show. Not this year!"

One of the characteristics that distinguishes the L.A. Screenings from all other markets is that here the buyers actually preview new programs all day long. Once locked in a screening room, chances of escaping are slim. Besides. the studios provide transportation and food, so that there is not even the need for a lunch break to the "outside" world. Also the International Screenings, as they are known internally at the studios, is where business is done on the spot. This year, even Canada's CBC has bought programs.

At press time, most of the buyers were still being shuttled from studio to studio, so a complete picture wasn't yet available. What we have is a composite overview compiled from analyses by various groups who screened different, if partial, products.

"What I liked so far is Winnetka Road from Worldvision and South of Sunset from Paramount," commented Eurocable's Sirkka Tarkiainen. Concurring with Tarkiainen was countryman Hans Edin of Finnish TV PTV.

Said Jacques Zbinden of France 2: "So far we have seen more good one-hour shows than half-hour ones. To us it is important to see what American networks decide to buy."

On the other hand, according to Zbinden, France 2 schedule requires one-hour shows. "We are basically looking for one-hour series," he said.

Commented Gudrun Kjellberg of Sweden's SVT: "So far, the overall quality of what we have seen pleases us. We look for the one-hour drama, which we know is hard to come by." These are Kjellberg's first LA. Screenings. "This is my first year here, so I can't really compare these Screenings with those of prior years. We are looking for police dramas with a youthful twist, shows that are on the innovative side."

Similarly, Nine Network's Chris O'Mara is "primarily looking for one-hour comedies and dramas. We have seen two or three comedies which we thought had potential and we have -- so far-- only seen Disney, Warner and MCA. We make the actual deals when we get back home."

Nine Network has output deals with Disney and ACI. "We are very encouraged by what we have seen so far," concluded Chris O'Mara.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Screenings
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:Who's screening?
Next Article:1993-94 U.S. networks' series.

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