'FlashForward' inks Asia Pacific deals

Joseph Fiennes/John Cho series heading to 40 countries

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'FlashForward' sees its future overseas

Disney's freshman drama "FlashForward" has been picked up by 10 broadcasters in the Asia Pacific region, covering some 40 countries.

The series toplining Joseph Fiennes and John Cho was acquired by terrestrial broadcasters Seven (Australia), TVB (Hong Kong), Media Prima (Malaysia), TVNZ (New Zealand), MediaCorp. (Singapore), ABS-CBN (Philippines) and by payboxes Fox International Channels (covering Southeat Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Zee Cafe (India), OCN (Korea) and Singtel (Singapore).

The series premieres in the U.S. on Sept. 24 on ABC.

In keeping with major U.S. suppliers' recent moves to time the launch of their shows abroad as close to U.S. debut as possible, Disney is working with Seven Down Under to facilitate launch there on Sept. 28 and with MediaCorp. in Singapore to go to air Oct. 4.

In addition, Fox International Channels will begin beaming "FlashForward" on dates staggered around Taiwan and all SE Asian markets, launching first in the Philippines on Star World (Dec. 10).

A catch-up TV service for "FlashForward" within 12 hours of the local telecast will be available in Oz and in Singapore as part of a strategy to ensure the widest audience possible.

No word on the pricing for the series was available, though top-tier U.S. dramas can rake in as much as $1 million per episode from all their terrestrial and pay TV deals combined. Racking up so many deals ahead of U.S. launch -- and ahead of the MIPCOM program sales bazaar in Cannes Oct. 5-9 -- suggests that the show has momentum and is getting decent license fees.

Rob Gilby, senior vp and managing director of Disney's TV unit in the Asia Pacific region, described the series, not surprisingly, as "the buzz show of the new U.S. TV season": "With the show's global themes and relatable characters, our partners have been aggressively marketing 'FlashForward' as a key show in their programming schedule."

To reinforce the importance of the overseas market for "FlashForward," Jessika Borsiczky, one of the executive producers of the show, will be on hand at MIPCOM to talk to other prospective buyers about the plans for the show's evolving story lines.

Earlier in the week, Disney announced deals for the show with free and pay TV broadcasters in 12 territories across Europe and the Middle East.
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