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Lucas Memo to TV Execs: Show Me Your Money


Lucas Memo to TV Execs: Show Me Your Money

The six-film series may be history now, but the revenue will continue to flow for years to come. Yesterday, came word from the George Lucas camp that, if the price is right, you too can have TV rights to the powerhouse franchise.

When colleagues saw a rough cut of the first Star Wars in the mid 1970s (a cut where most of the visual effects had not yet been completed) a lot them reportedly didn’t give the film much of a chance. Who’s laughing now?

The six film series could garner at least $50 million for the TV rights. The most recent chapter Revenge of the Sith is the most valuable member of the franchise, followed by Attack of the Clones (2002) and The Phantom Menace (1999). Sith will be available for a summer 2008 play date following HBO’s exclusive pay TV run. Though the first three titles–Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983)–have had multiple plays on TV and cable (and are therefore less valuable), Phantom Menace and Clones have only had one run on the Fox Network.

According to Daily Variety, the smart money says that the most likely bidders will include NBC Universal (Sci Fi Channel, USA and NBC), News Corp. (Fox and FX), Viacom (Spike, CBS and UPN), Turner Broadcasting (TNT, TBS and the WB) and Walt Disney (ABC and ABC Family).

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