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Human dictionary goes live

CANNES — The BBC is teaming with Live Aid founder Bob Geldof to create what they claim will be "the biggest sociological and anthropological project in the history of the world": a combined television and Internet content repository that aims to record the history of every human society on the planet. The BBC will make an eight-part high-definition series "The Human Planet" to accompany Geldof's "Dictionary of Man" project that will be co-produced by BBC Worldwide and the BBC's natural history unit, creators of such projects as "Planet Earth," "Life on Earth" and "Blue Planet." "Human Planet" is not expected to air until 2010, but the Web site and digital archive already are under construction.



German talent circles 'Complex'

CANNES — A who's who of Germany's top talent reportedly is circling Bernd Eichinger's new production, the 1970s terrorist biopic "The Baader Meinhof Complex." According to German media reports, Eichinger has assembled virtually the same all-star cast he used in Oskar Roehler's "The Elementary Particles." Martina Gedeck, who most recently appeared in the Oscar-winning "The Lives of Others," reportedly is set to play Red Army Faction terrorist mastermind Ulrike Meinhof in Eichinger's film, which is generating controversy before a single frame has been shot. German actor Moritz Bleibtreu ("Munich") has been named as Gedeck's co-star, taking the role of Andreas Baader. The film is expected to go into production in the summer, with Uli Edel ("Ring of the Nibelungs") attached to direct.



Burnett gets real in France

CANNES — Reality TV producer Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Apprentice") has signed a deal with France's No. 1 production house, Endemol France, to produce French-language versions of his hit TV formats. The deal will see Endemol France become the exclusive French producer of all formats from Burnett's Mark Burnett Prods. These include Fox's recent "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" and the upcoming "Pirate Master," which will premiere on CBS. Mark Burnett Prods. and Endemol France will set up a production joint venture, Mark Burnett Productions France, to produce and jointly develop formats for French television.
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