[02/24/05 - 12:00 AM]
The Showtime 'Big Fat Free Preview' Features Kirstie Alley's 'Fat Actress' and Usher Live!

[via press release from Showtime]

The Showtime 'Big Fat Free Preview' Features Kirstie Alley's 'Fat Actress' and Usher Live!

Preview Runs March 4-7 and is Expected to Reach Over 35 Million Households

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 -- Showtime is betting you'll be hooked during a 4-day free preview, March 4-7, that offers a taste of the network's strongest original programming in recent history. Two world premiere events will anchor the preview and be broadcast in HD, including the highly- anticipated comedy series FAT ACTRESS, starring Kirstie Alley (March 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) and multiple Grammy(R)-winner Usher, in his only televised concert in 2005: ONE NIGHT ONE STAR: USHER LIVE (March 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT). Many viewers will also have access to these events anytime on demand, during the free preview, as well as exclusive movies, boxing and other buzz-heavy shows like THE L WORD, HUFF and PENN & TELLER.

The March "Big Fat Free Preview" has garnered unprecedented participation from cable and satellite operators and is expected to reach over 35 million households.

"SHOWTIME is entering a golden age of original programming," said Showtime President of Programming Robert Greenblatt. "We've been fortunate to attract some of the most creative actors, writers and directors in the business -- and the results have been incredible. SHOWTIME is receiving more notice than ever before, and we're giving potential subscribers the opportunity to see why."

"This combination of original and exclusive content really reinforces the promise of premium cable -- big events and high quality series, in addition to theatricals," said Executive Vice President of Creative & Marketing, Len Fogge. "We're very pleased with the excitement and participation this free preview has generated among cable affiliates and operators."

As an added incentive, customers who sign up for SHOWTIME during the preview can also receive a $25 gift card good at any Apple retail store in the U.S. Consumers should check with their local cable and satellite providers for availability of the SHOWTIME Free Preview.

Cross channel promotional spots began airing three weeks prior to the preview. Radio campaigns, print advertising, bill-stuffers, email blasts with strong "tell-a-friend" components and text messaging alerts also launched to drive tune-in. The sho.com website also features a Big Fat Preview landing page which will include weekend programming highlights, order Showtime information and the Apple gift card Rebate promotion.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(R), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), which is a venture between NBC Universal, Robert Redford, and Showtime Networks Inc. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

SOURCE Showtime Networks Inc.
Web Site: http://www.SHO.com

  [february 2005]  


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