German fare proves tasty at MIPTV


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CANNES -- Big-budget U.S. drama might still be king of the castle at the MIPTV market, but high-end international drama continues to storm the gates, with several significant deals, many of them coming from Germany.

ZDF Enterprises, the commercial sales arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, reported record sales, with live-action teen-mermaid series "H20 -- Just Add Water" selling to France 2; Italy's RAI Sat; Antena 3 and Universal Pictures in Spain; and Canada's Vrak.TV. The show, produced in Australia, was recently picked up by Nickelodeon in the U.S.

ZDF also scored big territory sales for its slate of crime dramas, with canine detective series "Here Comes Kalle" going to TF1 in France and RTBF in Belgium and long-running shows such as "The Old Fox" and "KDD" selling to Mediaset in Italy, AXN in Spain and Portugal and TF1 in France.

Teutonic sales group Telepool sold RTL's mystery event telefilm "The Charlemagne Code" and Scandi crusades epic "Arn -- The Knight Templar" to France pay giant Canal Plus; licensed a package of German action series including "3 Wild Angels" and "Motorcycle Cops" to Italy's La Sette; and sold RTL's popular multicultural sitcom "Everybody loves Jimmy" to TV Catalunya in Spain.

Bavarian Media Television sold Austrian cop series "Vienna Crime Squad" to RAI in Italy and inked eight package deals with broadcasters from Central and Eastern Europe for its diverse slate of Germanic fiction.

German pubcaster ZDF, which produces virtually all of its local-language programming in-house, made a rare acquisition of a German series, picking up the first three seasons of the relaunched dog and cop show "Rex, A Cop's Best Friend" from Munich-based Beta Film. The show already airs on RAI Uno in Italy and on Austria's ORF.