US-based TV drama producer Hallmark Entertainment has extended its three-year output deal with Germany's RTL Entertainment for a further three years.

Under the initial agreement, RTL held exclusive rights for all German-speaking territories to major dramas produced by Hallmark Entertainment. The German broadcaster also co-produced Hallmark event mini-series such as Merlin, Jason And The Argonauts, Cleopatra and the forth-coming Arabian Nights.

Arabian Nights, a four-hour mini-series, starring Alan Bates, James Frain and Mili Avital, is to be broadcast on RTL in November 2000. Creature effects for the fantasy tale are created by Jim Henson Creature Shop.

Under the terms of the new three-year deal, RTL has committed to backing three Hallmark projects a year.