U.S. shows dominate Cologne TV fest


U.S. TV will take center stage at this month's Cologne Conference, Germany's leading TV festival.

American productions dominate the lineup, with six of the fest's top 10 section made in the U.S., including HBO's "Flight of the Conchords," "Fringe" from Warner Bros. TV and A&E's miniseries "The Andromeda Strain."

"We've had years where we couldn't find any U.S. series, but U.S. drama is on the ascent now," Cologne Conference organizer Martina Richter said. "The writing and storytelling, the production value, the issues addressed make U.S. shows simply the best in the world right now."

The Cologne Conference's international focus and its new positioning right ahead of MIPCOM have drawn an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including Fox Television Studios vp Daniel Hetzer, writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ("Fringe") and Luke Taylor and Gavin Rowe, the directors of the viral Web show "Kate Modern."

A highlight of this year's conference will be the Friday night awards gala, where the winners of the Cologne Film Prize, last year presented to Paul Haggis, and The Hollywood Reporter Award, honoring excellence in the German media industry, will be announced.

The Cologne Conference begins Wednesday and wraps Oct. 13. (partialdiff)