Brain waves spreading as '3 Lbs' tips int'l scales

CBS Par drama racking up sales

A global brain trust is in the works at CBS Paramount International Television as the drama "3 Lbs," starring Stanley Tucci as a grouchy neurosurgeon, notches up a plethora of worldwide sales to major broadcasters, including the BBC.

The medical drama has not yet debuted on CBS but the buzz that the pilot created during May's Los Angeles Screenings has sparked sales of the series to Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Greece, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia, among other territories.

"3 Lbs" (the weight of the average human brain) began life as a pilot for the 2005-06 season that wasn't picked up. The series was then recast and reshot for 2006 season. The pilot became a focal point at the L.A. Screenings — a pivotal international TV market — with executive producer Peter Ocko on hand at Paramount Studios to introduce the series to international buyers and talk about the future direction of the show.

"International television buyers are savvy and sophisticated, so the process goes beyond just seeing a great pilot. That's the reason that we bring the creative talent, including the executive producers, to the L.A. Screenings ... so they can talk to our clients about their vision for the future of the show past what the (buyers) have seen in the pilot," CBS Paramount International Television president Armando Nunez said in an interview Thursday.

Added Ocko: "I didn't reverse engineer the creative process with international sales in mind. Having said that, I'm a big fan of BBC America and its dramas and I'm sure that some of that seeped in during the creative process."

Both Nunez and Ocko attribute much of the activity on the show to Tucci's performance as well as his international standing.

International broadcasters that have committed to the series include Australia's Network 10, Canada's City TV, France's M6, the Hallmark Channel in Eastern Europe, ProSieben in Germany, TV 2 in Denmark, SBS in the Netherlands and Greece's Star Channel.

"We are talking about a very healthy international market now, and when you have a show that looks as good as this does on screen and you have some very unique points such as a very strong Stanley Tucci, and your clients understand the creative vision, then it's going to clear well," Nunez added.