U.S. comedies have harder time than dramas traveling internationally. But strong showings by new half-hour series at the broadcast upfronts last week were followed by solid performances at this week’s L.A. Screenings, where international buyers gather to sample the new crop of U.S. series. Upfront standouts — Warner Bros.-produced CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls and the 20th TV comedies New Girl (Fox) and Apt. 23 (ABC) — did very well. Two ambitious drama pilots set in the past, 20th/Fox Terra Nova and Sony/ABC’s Pan Am dazzled buyers though there were questions about the series living up to their pilots. On the drama side, also hot were the Warner Bros./J.J. Abrams-produced Person Of Interest (CBS) and Alcatraz (Fox), NBC’s Broadway drama Smash and fairytale procedural Grimm, ABC’s horror thriller The River, the Inception-flavored, mind-bending 20th/NBC drama Awake, Sony/CBS’ procedural Unforgettable, ABC’s soap Good Christian Belles and the Warner Bros./Kevin Williamson witch drama for the CW The Secret Circle. Secret Circle has been especially appealing to networks which already have the Williamson-produced CW drama The Vampire Diaries as the two series appear to be very compatible. (CW too will air them back-to-back on Thursdays.) A couple of pilots scored on the strength of their leads, including CBS’ A Gifted Man starring Patrick Wilson and CW’s Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Once again cable series also are having strong showings. After impressing international buyers with Boardwalk Empire last year, HBO was back wowing ’em this year with the new Michael Mann/David Milch drama Luck starring international stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. And 2 upcoming USA series, Suits and Necessary Roughness, also did well. While important for international buyers, L.A. Screenings are not an actual marketplace where foreign networks bid for new U.S. series. That only applies to the U.K. and Canadian markers. In most of the other territories, the new series will fall under existing output deals, so local programmers are coming to view what is coming their way next season.
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