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Southern Star Entertainment Southern Star Entertainment i(A103357 works by) (Organisation) assertion
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Southern Star is a diversified corporate operation with an integrated approach to film, television and video (DVD) production, distribution and merchandising. The company reorganised its structure in 1998 following Neil Balnaves' buyout of the Taft-Hardie Group (whose major shareholders included the Great American Broadcasting Co. and James Hardie Industries). The new operation included a distribution arm; a Los Angeles-based animation unit responsible for programs such as Berenstein Bears and Peter Pan and the Pirates (Fox Network); a video and audio tape duplication division; a merchandising arm handling BBC, Colombia Tri-Star and Paramount material; and a home video division.

Southern Star Entertainment has also been a broad corporate umbrella for established independent producers: Southern Star Sullivan (with Errol Sullivan); Southern Star McElroy (with Hal McElroy), Southern Star Levy (with Sandra Levy) and Southern Star Xanadu (with John Edwards). The production arms run as partnerships with Southern Star Entertainment meeting all running costs, producer and staff salaries, finance and administration as well as publicity (qq.v.).

Many of Southern Star Entertainment's major co-productions have been with the ABC and the BBC, including Four Minute Mile (1988), Children of the Dragon (1991) and Police Rescue (1989, 1991-1996). The Police Rescue pilot was originally made for the BBC. In 1993 the Southern Star Group was responsible for instigating the long-running series, Blue Heelers with Southern Star McElroy. A few years later Southern Star McElroy produced another popular television series Water Rats (qq.v.).

Southern Star Entertainment was acquired by Endemol B.V. in March 2009. The largest independent television, cross platform and digital production company in the world (producing international hits such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Star Academy and Wipeout, Endemol B.V. comprises a global network of companies that spans 26 countries on five continents.

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Last amended 16 Sep 2010 15:13:30
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