Aussie Comedy Creators Sign With Gersh
Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, who created Australian TV comedy Review With Myles Barlow, have signed with the Gersh Agency just as the show’s U.S. adaptation, Review With Forrest MacNeil, goes into production for Comedy Central. O’Donnell is a writer-director and Lloyd is a writer-actor who played the lead in Review with Myles Barlow. O’Donnell says he and Lloyd plan to travel to the U.S. early next year to look for opportunities as creators-showrunners. The pair, who are partners in Australian production company Jungleboys, also created A Moody Christmas, a comedy series for Australia’s ABC-TV in which each of the six episodes focuses on the dysfunctional Moody family on Christmas Day one year apart. DCD Rights is the international distributor of A Moody Christmas.

Elena Balmont To Run Viacom Unit In Russia
Viacom Intl. Media Networks has appointed Elena Balmont as general manager, VIMN Russia & CIS. The exec replaces Nicholas Walters who is leaving VIMN in December. Balmont will be based in Moscow and has overall responsibility for leading the operational and strategic management of VIMN’s business in the region for 11 channels that include global brands Nickelodeon, Paramount Comedy and MTV.  Balmont was previously deputy CEO at Content Union.

Shine Boosts Katrina Neylon
Shine International has promoted Katrina Neylon to SVP, head of EMEA effective immediately. She takes up the role vacated by Ruth Clarke earlier this year at the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group. Neylon will be responsible for devising the sales strategy for Shine International-represented programs throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa across traditional and new media channels. These include scripted productions The Hour and Hunted as well as formats like MasterChef, One Born Every Minute and Got To Dance.

Universal Resumes Distribution In Kazakhstan
Universal Pictures International Russia has resumed film distribution in the Republic of Kazakhstan this month. UPI Russia has signed a licensing agreement with Interfilm Distribution which will distribute all UPI titles in the region, including films that UPI has acquired in Russia. The first release under the pact is Chasing Mavericks on November 15. UPI will also release movies throughout November and December that were previously released in Russia but not in Kazakhstan including The Bourne Legacy, Savages and Ted.

News Corp completes buyout of stake in ESPN Star Sports
News Corp has completed its acquisition through a subsidiary of ESPN’s partnership interest in ESPN STAR Sports pursuant to their agreement announced June 6, 2012, the companies announced today. Upon the closing of the acquisition, ESS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corp.