At last count, some 70 companies — of both the indie and U.S. studio variety — will be exhibiting at this year’s L.A. Screenings. Spanning May 18-27, the Screenings will be held at the studios themselves, some company offices and, in the case of the Latins, at the Century Plaza Hotel in the Century City part of Los Angeles.

The L.A. Screenings will follow the traditional Upfront presentations in New York City, which will begin on May 16 and end on May 19. By that date, all studios will know the series that the networks have picked up for the 2011-2012 TV season and therefore will be ready to begin selling.

From May 18 till the 20th the studios will, however, leave the indies alone to conduct their business with those Latin buyers who arrive a few days earlier. But starting on the 21st, the studios will pretty much take over the whole process, beginning with the Latins and, on the following Monday, with basically all buyers in attendance.

Nevertheless, the indies will linger on until May 22, especially those who are invited to some of the studios’ parties. There are a number of obligatory big bashes in the works. With the exception of CBS and Warner Bros., all the other studios will host a party.

On the part of the indies, the traditional Venevision International party will open the market, while Telefe International will close it. In addition, Telefilms will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a combination of screenings and cocktails. For the studios, the celebrations will start on the 22nd and end on the 26th.

In terms of attendance, VideoAge’s early surveys indicate a steady presence of some 1,500 buyers from all over the world. CBS’ Stephanie Pacheco projected that the Latin presence would be “about the same as last year; well attended.”

This year, the “mini-majors, companies like Starz, Lionsgate, AETN, Content Television, FremantleMedia, eOne and a handful of others have stepped up their original programming game and are headed to the market with slates full of high-quality series.

VideoAge will be putting out two issues at the Screenings on May 18 and May 21. The first will focus on Latin America and the second on studios. Both will contain market news as well as a comprehensive Screenings Guide.

Updates will be featured regularly as they develop in VideoAge’s L.A. Screenings’ website: http://www.videoageinternational.com/screenings.htm