Germany's 'Rex' is king for France 2

Dog crimefighting series heading into 11th season

CANNES -- Germany's Beta Film has sold the latest season of the hit series "Rex -- A Cop's Best Friend" to French broadcaster France 2 -- just one of the many deals being done here by newly aggressive Teutonic program sellers.

One of Germany's most successful exports, "Rex" has sold over the years to 110 countries and been dubbed into nine languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Hungarian.

The show centers on a German shepherd that solves criminal cases. Shooting for the 11th season will start in the spring.

The new season has already aired on Italy's RAI 1 and Spain's Antena 3.

Beta Film will host its annual MIPCOM brunch Tuesday to introduce buyers to its new season of programming.

The event is one of a number of German gatherings scheduled this week at MIPCOM, giving the erstwhile beleaguered Teutonic industry a more visible presence here than most other countries.

Herbert Kloiber's Tele-Munchen, Studio Hamburg, ProSiebenSat.1, the MedienBoard and ZDF Enterprises are all hosting events at the five-day confab.

"Germany is currently the most successful exporter of programming in continental Europe," opined Beta Film topper Jan Mojto at a dinner Sunday night.

Mojto said he attributes the success to the strong structure of the German industry and the wealth of dramatic stories to have evolved in the wake of the recent trend to look at the country's past.

He also said Germany came closest in Europe to achieving American-style production values and storytelling techniques.

"We aren't just talking about Nazi stories and World War II," Mojto said. "There were millions of Germans that had to flee from their homes in the former Prussia and other traumas suffered by the Germans that they have never been able to talk about."

Mojto talked up a number of stories that Beta may come to tell, including one on the founder of the car manufacturer Porsche and an adaptation of a book on an obscure general, who could have stopped Hitler coming to power.