ITV picks up 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Harry Potter'

'Gossip Girl,' 'Happy Feet' also part of Warner Bros. deal

LONDON -- Vampires and wizards account for two big properties in a wide-ranging content deal struck between U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

The British commercial broadcaster has staked U.K. rights to the series "The Vampire Diaries," as well as conjuring up "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and "a substantial number of additional theatrical motion pictures," the parties said Thursday.

Along with a Disney deal for its new series "FlashForward" with another Brit network, Five, the two agreements are the first post-Los Angeles Screenings acquisitions of U.S. shows unveiled in the U.K.

The deal was announced by ITV director of digital channels and acquisitions Zai Bennett, and WBITD president Jeffrey Schlesinger.

Based on the book series by L. J. Smith, "The Vampires Diaries" is a romantic drama from Kevin Williamson in which two vampire brothers -- one good, one evil -- are at war for the soul of a high school girl and the souls of her friends and family. The series will be a focal point of ITV's schedule in 2010, the broadcaster said.

Other TV shows snapped up for ITV from Warner Bros. include "Gossip Girl" and movies like "Happy Feet."

Schlesinger said the deal the deal proves that in-demand series will still generate "significant interest and license fees in the U.K."

Bennett said, "This deal further cements ITV and Warner Bros. close working relationship.

No financial details were available.
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