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 "Commissar Rex" already has been pre-sold to Italy's RAI, Telecinco in Spain and France 2, all channels that aired the original series.

The original "Rex" series ran from 1994-2004 and was a hit across much of continental Europe. Beta handled sales on the first "Rex" and will handle international distribution duties for the new series as well.

"Commissar Rex" was a flagship program for Berlin-based network Sat.1 but the new series has not been picked up for Germany to this point.