Posts Tagged ‘renaissance pictures’

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Is Raimi trying to replace ABC/Disney?

June 11, 2010

Bridget Regan spoke to a French journalist at Monte Carlo for an article published on Allocine. The following translated segment at the end of the article has inspired fan speculations:

A few weeks ago, one of our users, lafouine152, wondered if the series was canceled. We told him we would ask you the question. Can you answer?
“Lafouine152” I do not think that the Seeker will continue his adventures, at least, not with ABC – Disney, which produced the series so far. But if a new producer showed his interest, perhaps it would be different. It would even be the only way to continue the show. After all, I have not yet been released from my contract. Unfortunately this does not seem to take this direction …

If you want to read the article directly, and you don’t read French, you can use sites like Babelfish and Google Translate to do so. Google’s Chrome Browser automatically offers to translate pages when it detects a foreign language.

Bridget has been quoted before as saying something about they are looking for a new producer. And that has caused some confusion for people. If Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are the show’s producers, then why is ABC Studios the Production Company when Raimi/Tapert’s Renaissance Pictures is the Production Company?

The answer is simple: it’s simply complex. I once asked Steve Sears (Co-Executive Producer on Xena: Warrior Princess) why everyone seemed to have “producer” in their title. Did they all do the same thing? His answer was complex (but simply put is thus): “Producer” is a title that is applied to various tasks associated with producing a show. Some producers are writers; some producers are decision-makers; some producers are primarily money men.

So, yes, there are different types of producers and production companies often come together to collaborate on television shows and movies and all sorts of entertainment productions. Don’t worry about why everyone seems to be a producer or who owns the rights to what. The bottom line here is that people are still interested in putting the show back on television — but they are apparently having to make new arrangements.

Whether Disney/ABC is trying to find someone to buy its interest in the property is a question to which I don’t have the answer. It doesn’t sound to me like Raimi and Tapert want out of the Seeker production business. Maybe SyFy wanted to buy ABC’s interest, maybe not. Maybe the rights are on the auction block, maybe not.

I do know that production companies don’t always buy permanent, irrevocable rights. Sometimes there is some sort of reversion or expiration clause in these kinds of contracts. So, far example, the rights to the “John Carter of Mars” movies (based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels) have bounced around from production company to production company every ten years or so — whereas the rights to movies (and everything else merchandisable) based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are permanently owned by the Saul Zaentz Company (which manages those rights through its subsidiary Tolkien Enterprises, which has nothing to do with with the Tolkien Estate or the Tolkien Trust, which are owned by the Tolkien family and administer all other rights to the Tolkien canon).

So, I hope that clears things up for you. It is starting to sound to me like there is “hope” for the Seeker but that it will probably take time to get everything sorted out.

We should continue to show our support for the show, the cast, and all the production companies even if Disney/ABC are now trying to transition out of the picture.

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Seeker fans to send snail mail to Sam Raimi

May 27, 2010

Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are the powers that be behind Renaissance Pictures, the company that actually filmed Legend of the Seeker (please don’t ask me to explain how ABC Studios is the show’s owner). Raimi and Tapert have walked down the successful (and not-so-successful) syndicated action-adventure show path before. It was their five-movie project on Hercules starring Kevin Sorbo that kicked off the 1990s’ brush with syndicated fantasy shows. Renaissance Pictures (aka Ghost House Pictures — and please don’t ask me to explain all that, either) produced Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Young Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, Jack of All Trades, and almost produced Amazon High/Amazon Nation.

Of all those shows, Hercules and Xena were the most successful. The Hercules movies and series propelled Kevin Sorbo to international stardom. He has gone on to star in a subsequent television series (Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda), numerous movies (including “Meet The Spartans”, “Bitch Slap”, “Avenging Angel”, and “Kull”), and has racked up numerous guest appearances on TV shows as well as voice roles in animated shows.

Lucy Lawless, Xena, also went on to important roles in numerous shows — including D’anna Biers on Battlestar Galactica. She also appeared in “Bitch Slap” (which also featured former Hercules/Xena co-stars Michael Hurst and Renee O’Connor) and Adam Sandler’s “Bedtime Stories”.

Legend of the Seeker seemed destined for similar success, if it were not for those darned kids — er, that so-called Great Recession and the Tribune Company’s bankruptcy. Tribune has been the lifeblood and lead cause for many a syndicated show’s failure. Rami and Tapert productions know that story oh-so-well.

Well, all that aside, many fans have asked if sending email or snail mail to Sam Raimi might somehow help the Seeker cause. I have been personally ambivalent about the idea but it seems that momentum is gaining for the “Just Do It” crowd. LOTS.org forum user oicaxf has started a contact Sam Raimi discussion. You can send snail mail to the following address:

Sam Raimi
Renaissance Pictures
315 S. Beverly Dr.
Suite 216
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA

I would be positive and supportive. You could try printing out the Save Our Seeker ads and accompanying them with a personal note. It doesn’t have to be brilliant prose. Just say something like, “Sam — I am with you and the Seeker all the way! Here is hoping for seasons 3 through 11!”

Good luck to us all.