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FME shops dramas, preps action series

MIPCOM NEWS: FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) is sending two drama series into the UK and Latin America and is also plotting the small-screen reinvention of 1990s movie franchise Universal Soldier.

The commercial and brand extension arm of FremantleMedia has sold The Wedding Band (10×60′) to the UK’s Channel 5, which will air the show on its 5* channel. Turner has acquired the series for TBS Latin America, which airs in more than 48 countries in the region.

The Wedding Band follows a group of friends who continue to live out their rock ‘n’ roll dreams by performing at weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs. David Ellender, FME’s global CEO, said the show – commissioned by Turner-owned TBS – represented the company’s “first foray into US networks.”

Meanwhile, UK diginet ITV2 has picked up seasons one and two of Australian drama Winners & Losers (22×60′), with an air date scheduled for spring 2012. The show premiered on Seven Network in March.

FME is also planning to turn the movie franchise Universal Soldier, which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme, into a TV series after acquiring the rights from The IndieProd Company and Craig Baumgarten, a producer of the original film.

The series will be written by Damian Kindler (Stargate) and produced by FremantleMedia North America. Allen Shapiro, chairman of TV Guide Network and former president/CEO of IndieProd, and Baumgarten will exec-produce.

David Ellender, global CEO of FME, said: “Universal Soldier is FME’s first foray into the sci-fi action genre, further diversifying our growing drama portfolio and underlining our reputation as one of the industry’s leading developers, coproducers and distributors of globally popular, high-quality scripted content.”

In other FME news, international buyers here in Cannes have the chance to sample Blood & Treasure (working title), a new one-hour crime drama created by Charles Segars (National Treasure), FremantleMedia North America and Landscape Entertainment (John Tucker Must Die). The first episode is written by Rob Wright (Law & Order).

The show, about two brothers who travel the world solving crimes and unearthing historical secrets, has been added to FME’s slate as part of its first-look deal with Landscape.

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