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[08/02/05 - 12:00 AM]
The U.S. Television Premiere of 'A Man Who Became Pope' -- the Heroic, True Story of Pope John Paul Ii - Comes Exclusively to Hallmark Channel, August 15

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

THE U.S. TELEVISION PREMIERE OF �A MAN WHO BECAME POPE� -- THE HEROIC, TRUE STORY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II � COMES EXCLUSIVELY TO HALLMARK CHANNEL, AUGUST 15

Pope John Paul II Viewed Film Before Death � was �impressed, appreciative� In Vatican Address, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Praises Film

The Hallmark Channel proudly presents the United States television premiere of �A Man Who Became Pope,� the nation�s first televised biopic on the heroic, true story of the transformative journey of Karol Wojtyla to become Pope John Paul II, exclusively on the network, Monday, August 15 (8/7 c). An encore presentation of �A Man Who Became Pope� is scheduled for Sunday, August 21 (9 a.m. � 1 p.m. ET/PT).

Pope John Paul II is quoted by Vatican press spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls has having seen the film prior to his death and was �impressed� and �appreciative.�

Before he became the Pope, Karol Wojtyla (pronounced Voy-tu-la) went on the transformational journey of a lifetime to become known as John Paul II, the �people�s Pope.� His journey is the reason that the young boy from a small town in Poland became the tireless voice for goodness in a secular age, the architect for kindness and outreach in the modern world, the missionary clarifying ambiguous moral principals, the passionate advocate for the poor, the seeker of reconciliation with Jews and peoples of other faiths, the criticizer of Communism, capitalism and the excesses of materialism, the charismatic pilgrim in the �Popemobile,� the keeper and guardian of Christian principles throughout the world � the people�s Pope to the end of his life.

Karol Wojtyla saw a world of pain and heartache during his years of maturation. The young artist and athlete who became a priest fought Communism, Nazism, atheism and capitalism from the doormat of Europe � Poland -- with his stinging sermons. Like the highly-strung Russian composer Mravinsky, frenetically pushing his orchestra to �play faster, faster, faster!,� Wojtyla, the young bishop, ratcheted up the drumbeat for Polish liberty in his fiery sermons until Poland found its collective voice and rose up for the overthrow of 40 years of totalitarian rule, political machines and spoils systems.

On October 16, 1978, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla succeeded the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope John Paul I, who remarkably died less than two months after succeeding Pope Paul VI. Pope John Paul II served more than 26 years until his death this year; his papacy is the third longest period of service since St. Peter and Pope B. Pius IX.

Within this remarkable life, phenomenal historical events, like the rise and fall of Nazism, Fascism and Communism, shaped this flesh and blood man into a tower of moral strength; the man who consoled those who have nothing; a man who was as much at home on the world stage with contemporary personalities like Bob Dylan as he was in private conversation with world leaders or on his knees in his local parish; the man who was the 263rd successor to Saint Peter and held � among many papal titles � the �servant of the Servants of God�; a man from Krakow, Poland, who grew up to become �the people�s Pope� -- beloved Pope John Paul II.

�A Man Who Became Pope,� presented by Faith & Values Media, is based on Gian Franco Svidercoschi�s book, Stories of Karol: The Unknown Life of John Paul II and stars Piotr Adamczyk (�Spellbinder�) as Karol Wojtyla.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI held high praise for �(Karol) A Man Who Became Pope� at his June 12 mass at The Vatican.

Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 69 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through 5,020 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWN) owns and operates Hallmark Channel. In 2004, Crown launched its second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its awardwinning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television.

-- HALLMARK CHANNEL --





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· KAROL: A MAN WHO BECAME POPE (HALLMARK)











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