[05/04/05 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime Networks Greenlights Pilot Presentation for Chicago Public Radio's 'This American Life'

[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime Networks Greenlights Pilot Presentation For Chicago Public Radio's 'This American Life'

Creator and Host Ira Glass Along With Christine Vachon From Killer Films To Serve as Executive Producers

EUE/SCREEN GEMS to Produce Pilot Presentation For Showtime

LOS ANGELES, May 4 -- Showtime Networks has greenlit a pilot presentation for Chicago Public Radio's award-winning radio series, "This American Life," it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President, Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Inc. Series creator and host Ira Glass along with acclaimed independent film producer Christine Vachon from Killer Films ("Boys Don't Cry," "Happiness," "One Hour Photo") are to serve as executive producers. EUE/SCREEN GEMS will produce the pilot presentation for Showtime.

Each episode will be hosted by Ira Glass and will explore a single theme or topic through the unique juxtaposition of first-person storytelling and whimsical narrative, allowing for the show's distinct and original voice. The visual interpretation of the television series will reflect the structure and spirit of the radio show that has grown to be one of the most popular and innovative radio programs in the medium

"I'm a huge fan of Ira Glass and 'This American Life' and it took us many months to lure Ira to the network, and we all wanted to be certain that a television adaptation of this iconic show would honor its origins on radio and yet translate to a visual medium," said Greenblatt. "I think we're onto something very special here, and Showtime is honored to be part of it," he added.

Debuting on Chicago public radio station WBEZ in 1995, and distributed by Public Radio International, "This American Life," the show is an hour-long combination of journalism and short fiction. Hosted by creator and veteran public radio producer Ira Glass, the show is heard on over 500 radio stations nationally and has won the Peabody and Dupont-Columbia awards for excellence in broadcasting. David Mamet, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author has remarked in Time magazine, "We're blessed, from time to time, with a spontaneous generation of humor and insight. And here is Ira Glass who seems to have reinvented radio."

The radio show will continue weekly production while the pilot presentation is shot and edited. "We'll work on the pilot tape on weeks the radio show has a rerun," said Ira Glass. "Also nights and weekends," Glass added. "Our goal is that if it becomes a TV series, we'll be able to keep the radio program on the air."

Glass continued, "We've always thought of our job as making little movies for radio. So we were thrilled when Showtime approached us and suggested we actually take it to the next logical step. And as the radio show sounds like nothing else on radio, we believe the television version will be like nothing else on TV."

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), THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM) and FLIX ON DEMAND. 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
Web Site: http://www.SHO.com

  [may 2005]  


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