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FremantleMedia lines up 'Apprentice' and more at Asia TV Forum

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MUMBAI: Fremantle International Distribution (FID), is set to stun buyers with a powerful slate of entertainment programmes at the Asia Television Forum.It will be held in Singapore from 30 November  2 December.

FID will be presenting the original version of The Apprentice featuring US business tycoon, Donald Trump. The fourth season of this bold reality series tests competitors' survival techniques in New York City's corporate jungle as the candidates face weekly business challenges and strive to reach the top.

The winning candidate is awarded an apprenticeship with Trump. Brainchild of Emmy-Award winning producer, Mark Burnett, The Apprentice has proven a TV heavyweight with its first season, being the highest rated new series of the 2003-04 season, with an average audience of 20 million viewers in the US. The finale attracted an audience of 28 million viewers - 167 per cent above NBC's primetime average.

FID will also be presenting buyers with the brand new programme, The Apprentice - Martha Stewart (13 x 60' plus finale), featuring, Martha Stewart. This new competition will showcase Stewart's work and her multibillion-dollar empire, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Among its headline programmes, FID has more from Stewart as she presents her new daytime show Martha! (180 x 60'). In this newly-acquired series, Stewart interacts with members of the public in the live studio audience, on the street, and even in their homes. She also welcomes some of her favourite celebrity friends to chat. Combining Stewart's signature sense of humour with her love of people and projects, the show presents inspiring ideas from cooking and entertaining, to decorating and home renovation.

Another proven performer and perennial favourite among FID's impressive batch of programmes is American Idol. FID presents season five of the same, which became the season's number one US show on Fox. America's judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson lend their professional expertise and often unwanted criticism, as they search to discover the next American Idol.

FID goes for laughs in the Asian region with the debut of Fat Actress (7 x 30'). Combining humour and pathos with the seamlessness of a black and white cookie, Fat Actress explores the challenges and triumphs of overcoming whatever makes someone uncomfortable about themselves. Two-time Emmy Award-winning actress, Kirstie Alley, stars in this new unscripted comedy series following the daily struggle of an actress to find love and work in an unforgiving Hollywood.

Alley and Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven, Mad About You) are the creators and executive producers. Alley describes the show as, "essentially a story about women's introversions: how women torture themselves, what they fret about, what they long for, their hopes, their dreams, their downfalls and their losses - all viewed through the prism of exaggeration, farce and fancy, sarcasm and irony while going for biting humour and belly laughs."

FID will also present The International Indian Film Academy Awards (1 x 240'). This event, held in Amsterdam, on 23 May 2005, is a star-studded celebration of Indian cinema.

FID managing director David Ellender said, "We are very proud of the strength of our slate for the Asia Television Forum 2005. Our highlights originate from some of the top entertainment producers in the US and encompass a mix of proven winners and exciting new programmes. Featuring some of the entertainment industry's biggest names, there's sure to be something for everyone."

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