'The Street' to garner guilders for Granada

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN's oldest and most popular soap opera, Coronation Street, is about to be remade in Dutch in a deal launching a new drive by its producers, Granada Television, in the overseas market.

JE Entertainment, a Dutch company, has signed an agreement with Granada to develop the storyline based on a Lancashire street from 1988 onwards for the first foreign version, to be called De Straat.

Talks are under way with two Dutch channels about re-creating it with a Dutch cast and setting it in an Amsterdam suburb.

It will cost about dollars 10m a year to produce, and could, according to Bernard Macleod, head of sales, generate pounds 300,000 a year for Granada if run five nights a week. Granada is aiming for a similar deal in Germany and Italy, where the story could be worth up to pounds 1.4m a year in format rights, if the Netherlands plan is successful.

Although the potential sales represent a fraction of Granada Television's income, it is significant in terms of overseas activities. Its international division generates about pounds 6m a year.

Coronation Street is considered one of Granada's biggest assets. It has made 2,854 episodes in 31 years - but never tried to sell the format despite its enormous success at home.

(Photograph omitted)

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