News Briefs

Nelvana reports gains

Nelvana Enterprises reports gross revenues for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, 1994 of $28,161,000 and net earnings of $1,766,000, up 74% and 76% respectively over the same 1993 period.

Also at Nelvana, The Magic School Bus, an animated half-hour series produced by Scholastic Productions in association with Nelvana, is in production on 13 new episodes for its second season. This brings the total number of episodes to 26. Delivery is scheduled for late 1995.

And Rupert, Nelvana’s animated half-hour children’s television series based on the 1920s strip cartoon, begins its fourth season in 1995.

The 13 episodes are budgeted at us$4.8 million and are scheduled for delivery at the end of next year. Broadcasters for Rupert include ytv in Canada and Scottish Television plc. As well, Nickelodeon will begin airing the series in the fall of 1995.

Coming to Life

Life Network has signed a deal for 110 episodes of What’s For Dinner?, a half-hour daily cooking show produced by Toronto’s Breakthrough Films and Television. The series, budgeted at $8,231 per episode, went into production this month.

The new specialty tv service also signed three contracts with Toronto-based Robert Essery Organization for 52 half-hours of Medical Breakthroughs and 39 half-hours each of Doctor, Doctor and Let’s Build.

All four programs will be delivered in time for Life’s Jan. 1, 1995 national broadcast launch.

On the personnel front, Lisa Lyons has been named manager, cable affiliate relations at Life; Jim Johnson has been appointed promotions manager; and Jennifer Anka is Life’s new marketing associate.

SOGIC v-p retires

Robert Brisebois has retired as sogic’s vice-president of film. Brisebois held the senior position at the Quebec cultural certification and funding agency since its inception in 1988.

Under Brisebois’ direction, sogic’s film service injected $80 million in Quebec film production. Budgets for certified Quebec production under the old tax shelter and the new refundable production tax credit since 1988 total $953 million.

A replacement for Brisebois has yet to be named.

Year-end at WIC

WIC Western International Communications reports total revenues of $392 million for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 1994, up 14% from $343 million last year. wic also reports net earnings of $9.8 million, an increase of $3 million over 1993; television segment revenues of $234 million, up 15% over last year; and pay-tv revenues of $28.1 million, 10% higher than in ’93.

Second Wave

British Columbia Film and the National Film Board, Pacific Centre have selected the team of producer Tara Cowell-Plain and writer/director Brian Barnard as the winner of the second annual developmental Next Wave competition for novice b.c. filmmakers. One Foot in Heaven, a road movie chronicling the adventures of five seniors who travel to Vancouver, is slated to begin production this winter.

Delivery of the film, budgeted at around $200,000, is scheduled for March 31, 1995.