Disney and HBO kick off LA Screenings

The LA Screenings kicked off in full swing this weekend as buyers flocked to a low key screenings event hosted by premium cable network HBO and a bustling party and presentation from Disney ABC ESPN Television.

This followed a busy week at the Century Plaza hotel where independent distributors vied with Latin American producers, distributors and broadcasters to create a buzz for their non-studio series slates.

International buyers were treated to a number of shifts at HBO where they screened comedies including 30 minute comedy Bored to Death, which stars Ted Danson and Rushmore’s Jason Schwartzman and follows a young writer in New York who gets over a painful break up by pretending he is in a Raymond Chandler crime novel.

Disney’s event – which featured a host of talent including Courtney Cox and Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman – gave buyers a glimpse of its latest slate. Ben Pyne, president, global distribution at Disney Media Networks and Steve McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment Group introduced shows including Joseph Fiennes-fronted action adventure Flash Forward, Twin Peaks-style drama Happy Town and Cox-fronted comedy Cougar Town, whose stars including Cox, Christa Miller and exec producer Bill Lawrence received a standing ovation.

Disney ABC ESPN Television has already inked deals for some of these new shows as Canadian buyers already got out their chequebooks. CTV picked up Flash Forward, as well as CBS Studios International’s Mischa Barton model drama The Beautiful Life.

Meanwhile, Canwest has picked up a raft of shows including Twentieth Century Fox Distribution’s musical drama Glee, Family Guy-spinoff The Cleveland Show and CBS Studios International’s Melrose Place remake, NCIS:LA and Julianna Margulies-fronted drama The Good Wife.