Disney planning Euro screenings

Studio keen to showcase midseason series

By Dominic Schreiber
June 2, 2008

LONDON — Disney execs are mulling a possible European screenings to showcase their midseason series this fall, after launching just one new network show to international buyers at this year’s LA Screenings.

“We’re exploring what we should do,” noted Tom Toumazis, executive VP and managing director of Disney-ABC Intl. TV.

“We’re kicking ideas around as to whether we put on a road show and go to each of the markets and present our new lineup in full, or whether we host something.”

Like all of the U.S. studios, Disney hosted a slimmed down version of its annual sales bazaar last month, as a result of the WGA writers’ strike.

“We had a very different screenings this year,” said Toumazis. “We didn’t have a big event on the lot, we didn’t have our full lineup, there wasn’t one big show in our lineup.”

Of the six new shows on offer from ABC Studios, just one — CBS laffer “Project Gary” — was for a broadcast network’s fall schedule.

The other five series included Steven Bochco’s new legal drama “Raising the Bar” for TNT and first-run syndie series “Wizard’s First Rule.”

According to Toumazis, even without the strike, it was going to be a quiet year for the studio, given the strength of ABC’s current schedule.
ABC added just one new scripted series to its fall lineup, a remake of British cop drama “Life on Mars.” Come September, though, Toumazis is expecting to have a number of midseason pick-ups to unveil to international buyers.