EmptyCBS Par Int'l, ProSieben in VOD pact
CANNES — CBS Paramount International Television has inked its first-ever international VOD deal for current primetime programming, pacting with German group ProSiebenSat.1 for exclusive VOD rights to the current seasons of such hit shows as "Medium," "Numbers" and "Jericho." The deal, announced Wednesday at MIPTV, is for ProSiebenSat.1's German VOD platform maxdome. Under the agreement, the CBS Paramount series will be made available to German viewers a week before their local free-TV bow.
ParaMedia bringing 'Host!' to U.S.
CANNES — Jim Paratore's ParaMedia has picked up U.S. format rights to hit German game show "Beat Your Host!" from ProSiebenSat.1 sales arm SevenOne International. ParaMedia will produce a U.S. version of the show together with Warner Horizon Television, Warner Bros. Television Group's primetime reality programming arm. The deal, announced Wednesday at MIPTV, follows ABC's recent pickup of Germany's No. 1 entertainment format, "Wanna Bet?" "Beat Your Host" features a contestant going up against a VIP host in a series of competitions ranging from pole vaulting and ping pong to who can best spread soft cheese on a sandwich.
Senator takes control of Central
CANNES — Senator Entertainment has acquired the remaining 49% of Central Film, giving Senator full control of the Berlin-based independent distributor. Senator will expand Central Film, which operates largely as a booking and billing operation, into a separate label in the German market, alongside the company's flagship theatrical arm, Senator Film Verleih. Senator plans to release 10 or more titles a year through Central Film, which will be run by the company's current head, Peter Sundarp, together with Senator distribution boss Peter Heinzemann.
Reed MIDEM plans Asian confab
CANNES — Entertainment and media industries in Asia are expected to grow 10% a year through 2010, the "fastest growth rate in the world and double the growth in the U.S.," Reed MIDEM said Wednesday as it announced plans for a pan-Asian event for international entertainment content. The inaugural Amazia exhibition and conference takes place in Hong Kong in November 2008, eight years after Reed MIDEM pulled its MIDEM and MIP Asia events out of the Asia-Pacific region.
Beta Film, ORF take 'Rex' for walk
CANNES — German producer Beta Film and Austrian pubcaster ORF are reviving beloved cop-and-dog series "Commissar Rex," one of the few non-U.S. series to become a pan-European hit. Beta and ORF have begun production on eight new episodes of "Rex," which will feature Italian TV star Kaspar Capparoni taking over the second-fiddle role of human partner to the crime-busting German Shepherd. The new "Rex" already has been presold to Italy's RAI, Telecinco in Spain and France 2, all channels that aired the original series.
Lola's to honor Mueller-Stahl
CANNES — German character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl, 76, will receive a lifetime achievement honor at this year's German Film Awards, the Lolas. The actor is a veteran of film and television and first rose to fame in communist East Germany before leaving the country to become a star in the West. In the early 1990s, Mueller-Stahl attracted attention with Jim Jarmusch's "Night on Earth" (1991). He went on to appear in such films as "The House of the Spirits" (1993) and "Shine" (1996). Mueller-Stahl's performance in "Shine" earned him SAG and Oscar noms. Mueller-Stahl will receive his lifetime achievement Lola at a gala ceremony May 4 in Berlin.