The Hollywood Reporter
"Keller Entertainment Group is charging into the fray of syndicted one hour action TV series with "Conan the Adventurer" a live action weekly. The strip is based on the movie series that propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger to fame in the early l980's. Keller Entertainment will officially unveil "Conan" at a party next week on the opening night of MIP-TV in Cannes, a sign that the company is pushing overseas sales of the project before hammering out domestic distribution deals. "The response has been phenomenal on the international level" said Micheline Keller, president and chief operating office and wife of Max Keller, chairman and CEO of Keller Entertainment, parent company of American First Run Studios and Zantar Distribution Co. Keller Entertainment will initially produce 22 episodes of "Conan," each with a budget in excess of $1 million, and a projected air date of early l997 internationally, according to Micheline Keller. The Kellers will executive produce with Arthur Lieberman as co-executive producer. "We changed the title form 'Conan the Barbarian' to 'Conan the Aventurer' because we're minimizing the violence," Micheline Keller said. In the international arena - and when it airs domestically - the series will likely cross swords with a horde of action hours, including the dynamic MCA due of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess" and such upcoming shows as MTM's "The Cape," Rysher's "F/X: The Series" MGM Television's "Poltergeist: The Legacy," Paramount's "Viper," New World's "Two" Warner Bros.' "Mad Max" and "Tarzan: The Epic Adventures." a series being distributed by Keller Siegel Entertainment, which is a joint venture between Keller Entertainment Group and Seagull Entertainment (HR 3/7). Although she conceded that the launch of "Conan" coincides with a resurgence of the genre, Keller said the company's interest in making the series predates the success of "Hercules" and "Xena." "Max has been working to get the rights to 'Conan' for five years and they just became available (from Conan Properties)", she said. Casting has yet to be finalized and the producers are still looking for locations for the shooting. Micheline Keller said it will probably be produced in Germany, Yugoslavia or Ireland - all of which offer rugged exterior settings and excellent soundstange facilities. The company may co-partner with Balenciaga Prods. (a French company that Keller Entertainment has a long relationship) to take advantage of economic incentives within the European community. "Conan" and "Tarzan" are just part of Keller Entertainment's production and distribution slate, with an overall budget of $60 million. Other ventures include "Cyberkidz," a half hour futuristic live-action series produced by United Prods., that Keller Entertainment will distribute internationally. And the Kellers are beginning their second season of executive producing Balenciaga Prods.' "Acapulco H.E.A.T." with Jacques Konckier, president of Balenciaga...."