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MGM, Brooksfilms Partner with BFC Berliner Film Companie for 'Spaceballs' Animated TV Series

LOS ANGELES and BERLIN, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BFC Berliner Film Companie has partnered with Brooksfilms and MGM Domestic Television Distribution, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (NYSE:MGM) , to create an animated television series based on the classic Mel Brooks comedy "Spaceballs."

"We are thrilled to be working with a comic genius like Mel Brooks on what we're sure will be the highly successful translation of his classic film comedy to the medium of animation for TV," said Rainer Soehnlein, chief executive officer of BFC Berliner Film Companie Group. "We look forward to our collaboration with him and with MGM, and to bringing 'Spaceballs' to a new audience."

Under the agreement, BFC and MGM will produce an hour-long pilot and 13 half-hour episodes. Additionally, MGM will distribute the program in the U.S., Canada and internationally with the exception of Germany.

Brooks and Thomas Meehan, who together co-wrote the original screenplay, will write the pilot and supervise writing on the rest of the series. Brooks and Soehnlein will serve as executive producers and Brooks will provide the voice of two main characters, President Scroob and Yogurt.

"Primetime animation has become a powerful staple and with the unmatched comedic talents of Mel Brooks and BFC's expertise, you've got quite a winning combination," said Jim Packer, MGM's executive vice president of television distribution, North America. "To this day, 'Spaceballs' is incredibly successful on television and in video, and with the abundance of Sci-fi films that have come out in the past decade, there's no shortage of material for Mel."

"Spaceballs" was released theatrically in 1987. The film's storyline focuses on Planet Spaceball's President Scroob, who sends Lord Dark Helmet to steal Planet Druidia's abundant supply of air to replenish that of his own planet. Only the hero, Lone Star, can stop the evil plan.

BFC currently has more than 144 half-hours of kids' programming in its portfolio, including two other new series, "Sherm!" and "MP4orce" (working title). During the past two years, BFC has successfully distributed four series to international broadcasters, including "Adventurers," "Shadow of the Elves," "Altair in Starland" and "Mission Odyssey." BFC's first U.S. network deal, the hip-hop sci-fi animated series "Da Boom Crew," premiered in September as part of the top-rated Saturday morning lineup on Kids' WB!

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM) , through its Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. subsidiary, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising about 4,000 titles. Operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists, MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Networks, MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution, MGM Domestic Television Distribution, MGM Home Entertainment, MGM On Stage, MGM Consumer Products, MGM Music, MGM Interactive and MGM Direct. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 120 countries. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About MGM Domestic Television Distribution

MGM Domestic Television Distribution handles distribution of film and television product as well as co-productions for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists. Through the division, more than 4,000 feature films and 10,100 television episodes are available to pay-, basic-cable and free-television clients in the United States and Canada. MGM's series lineup includes the long-running hit series "Stargate SG-1," its spin-off, "Stargate Atlantis," "Dead Like Me" and "The L Word."

About BFC Berliner Film Companie

BFC Berliner Film Companie GmbH was formed in 2002 to develop and produce television and feature-film animation. Working with America's top creators, producers and directors, BFC has established a unique American-style production company in the heart of cosmopolitan Berlin, along with an office in Los Angeles to maintain a constant presence in the center of the U.S. entertainment industry. BFC is affiliated with Dresdner Allianz Group, one of the world's leading financial powerhouses.

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.; BFC Berliner Film Companie

Spaceballs DVD

Mel Brooks's 1987 parody of the Star Wars trilogy is a jumble of jokes rather than a comic feature, and, predictably, some of those jokes work better than others.

The cast, including Brooks in two roles, more or less mimics the principal characters from George Lucas's famous story line, and the director certainly gets a boost from new allies (SCTV graduates Rick Moranis and John Candy) as well as old ones (Dick Van Patten, Dom DeLuise).

Watch this and wait for the sporadic inspiration--but don't be surprised if you find yourself yearning for those years when Brooks was a more complete filmmaker (Young Frankenstein). --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape

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