[03/15/05 - 12:00 AM]
Overweight and Overjoyed: Showtime Rushes 'Fat Actress,' Starring Emmy(R) Winner Kirstie Alley, to DVD May 24th

[via press release from Showtime]

Overweight and Overjoyed: Showtime Rushes 'Fat Actress,' Starring Emmy(R) Winner Kirstie Alley, to DVD May 24th

Unprecedented Demand by Retail and Consumers Escalates Release Date

LOS ANGELES, March 15 -- Showtime has announced the accelerated release of the hit series, Fat Actress, co-created and starring Kirstie Alley, to DVD on May 24, 2005. In what has decidedly become a cultural phenomenon, aided by an extraordinary amount of press coverage and viewer demand, the complete first season of Fat Actress will be released to DVD six months earlier than most Showtime television series releases. The Network premier of Fat Actress was one of Showtime's highest rated programs in the Network's history. The Fat Actress 2 Disc DVD will carry a $34.99 SRP.

"The response to Fat Actress has been phenomenal," said Tony Lynn, Senior Vice President, Program Distribution for Showtime. "Never in the history of this company has one of our projects caught the imagination of the public, the press and our retailers as exceptionally well as this series. It truly is amazing. As such, due to high demand, we have re-structured our business plan for Fat Actress by giving its fans what they want -- the DVD now."

Fat Actress, a seven-episode, half-hour hybrid comedy/reality series starring two-time Emmy(R) Award winner Kirstie Alley that was inspired by Alley's real life, debuted on Showtime on Monday, March 7th with unprecedented ratings and press response for the network. Taking her life experiences and recreating them in the extreme, Alley plays a fictional version of herself -- a successful television and movie star whose weight gain has become the subject of every tabloid imaginable as well as the bane of her existence as she tries to find work and true love in an unforgiving Hollywood. This irreverent series, which is co-created and executive produced by Alley and Brenda Hampton ("Seventh Heaven"), is unscripted, with each episode emanating from a story outline and the actors largely improvising the dialogue. Sandy Chanley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") also executive produces through her production company, Production Partners, Inc. The director of the series is Keith Truesdell.

Bravely willing to lampoon her image that has been mercilessly ridiculed over the past few years, Alley gives us a glimpse of the humor and the irony in her battle to lose weight and get back on television in a tough business that prefers the once-svelte version of the Emmy(R) Award-winning star of "Cheers." Stories are drawn from a heightened perception of her real-life experiences, and some of Alley's friends -- including John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kid Rock, Carmen Electra, Melissa Gilbert, Leah Remini, Merv Griffin, Kevin Nealon, Mark Curry, Mayim Bialick, Edie McClurg, Connie Stevens and NBC Chief Jeff Zucker, among others -- appear as themselves in guest cameos that further blurs the lines between truth and fiction. Anyone struggling with issues about weight or self-esteem -- or just looking for love and happiness -- will identify with Alley's life.

"A laugh out delight" raved the Detroit News about the show. "A fearless Kirstie Alley in all her raunchy screwball glory." The New York Post exclaimed: "Worth the Weight! Wildly innovative, weep-with-laugher ... . laugh-out-loud stuff reaches a lose-your-breath pinnacle."

Kirstie Alley became a household name playing "Rebecca Howe" on the hit television series "Cheers" for which she won both a Golden Globe(R) and an Emmy(R) Award. Her flair for comedy translated to the big screen in movies like Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," "Look Who's Talking" and "Look Who's Talking Too." In 1997, Alley returned to television to produce and star in the sitcom "Veronica's Closet," which ran for three seasons.

Brenda Hampton, co-creator of the series, created and currently executive produces "Seventh Heaven," the smash hit drama that has been running for eight years on The WB. While known primarily for this family drama, Hampton has actually spent most of her career writing and producing several successful sitcoms such as "Mad About You," "The John Larroquette Show" and "Blossom."

Sandy Chanley, who produced the first two seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," brings incredible knowledge of unscripted comedy series production to the creative team. She has also produced a number of highly-regarded comedy specials including: "Bill Maher: Be More Cynical," "Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker," "Chris Rock: Bring The Pain," "D.L. Hughley: Goin' Home," "Janeane Garofalo," and many others.

FAT ACTRESS, The Complete First Season 2 DISC DVD SET

Street Date: May 24, 2005
Order Date: April 26, 2005
SRP: $34.99
Running Time: Approximately 230 minutes
Language: English
Sound: Dolby digital 5.1
Close Captioned Yes

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 owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. 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 EXTREME(R) is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

SOURCE Showtime

  [march 2005]  


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