Fox finds fortitude for 'Mental' pickup

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Fox TV Studios' internationally produced medical series "Mental" has found a U.S. home.

Sister broadcast network Fox has picked up the 13-episode drama, a co-production between FtvS and Fox International Channels, to air in the summer.

After the series' U.S. debut, it will air on FIC's outlets in 35 countries.

Created and executive produced by Deborah Joy LeVine and Dan Levine, "Mental" stars Chris Vance as a rebellious psychiatrist at a Los Angeles mental-health hospital, where he works alongside a conservative boss (Annabella Sciorra).

The series' initial 13-episode order was shot at Fox TeleColombia in Bogota.

With its lower-cost production and by lining up FIC as a co- financier, "we were able to put together an unusually attractive financial deal for everyone involved, something that all studios, networks and companies are considering in this unprecedented economic climate," FtvS president Emiliano Calemzuk said.

The lower license fee proved attractive for Fox.

"One of our goals has been to get original scripted programming on our air during the summer, and they created a model that will allow us to do it," chairman Peter Liguori said. (partialdiff)
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