China's BesTV New Media, which delivers premium content to subscribers' television sets via an Internet-connected settop box, has signed a deal with Paramount for the rights to some of its classic films as well as new releases. In an announcement today (Thursday), the company said that the first films to be carried on its IPRV Premiere service will be the Mission Impossible, Transformers and Star Trek series. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and there was no indication when new releases might be included in the offerings. The company said that it has tens of millions of subscribers in China. The state-owned China.org.cn website quoted Bao Ran, CEO of Digital Entertainment Industry Applications Group, as saying that the deal was a sign of the American movie industry increasingly focusing its attention on the Chinese market. BesTV New Media is a unit of the state-owned Shanghai Media Group, one of the Chinese groups that has partnered with DreamWorks Animation in a venture called Oriental DreamWorks, that plans to develop and produce Chinese animated and live-action films beginning with the third installment of DWA's Kung Fu Panda series. It will be the first co-production in China of any Hollywood animated feature.
'House' star Laurie received star number 2,593 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week.