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Republic Pictures to Distribute Children's Videos

June 30, 1993|JAMES BATES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Republic Pictures Corp. is entering the children's home video market by linking up with the Children's Television Workshop to distribute such shows as "3-2-1 Contact" and "Ghostwriter" made by the prestigious television programmer.

But a bigger deal for Republic may be waiting in 1995. That is when an agreement expires between CTW and Random House, which currently distributes home videos of the not-for-profit company's most famous production, "Sesame Street."

Republic executives acknowledge they are very interested in trying to add "Sesame Street" to the video label it is creating for CTW products.

In the meantime, Republic will start supplying stores this fall with videos of programs from the popular television series "Ghostwriter," as well as the specials "Basil Hears a Noise" under an eight-year licensing agreement announced Tuesday in Beverly Hills.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Republic executives hope to sell as many as 500,000 videocassettes of those programs, which will be priced from $12.98 to $14.98. After that, it plans to distribute such CTW programs as the classic "The Electric Company" and "CRO," a program scheduled to premiere on ABC this fall.

Republic, which is about one-third-owned by video giant Blockbuster Entertainment, has been working to develop its video business through its home entertainment group.

Some of the best-known classics in the Republic library include "High Noon" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

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