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[08/12/05 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime and Msn Video to Stream First Episode of 'Barbershop: The Series' on Msn

[via press release from Microsoft]

SHOWTIME and MSN Video to Stream First Episode of 'Barbershop: The Series' on MSN

Half-Hour Comedy Pilot Available Free to MSN Viewers.

REDMOND, Wash. and NEW YORK, Aug. 12 -- The first episode of "Barbershop: The Series," a new show that premieres this Sunday, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. EDT and PDT on SHOWTIME, will be available for streaming in its entirety on MSN(R) Video simultaneously with the series debut.

The first episode of the half-hour comedy series, which focuses on the interplay between an eclectic staff of haircutters and their customers at a Chicago barbershop, also can be viewed free at (http://msnvideo.com ). The "Barbershop" pilot will be available on MSN for eight consecutive days starting Aug. 14. In addition, MSN Video will feature behind-the-scenes content and clips from each of the series episodes throughout the season for free.

"We're thrilled to be working with SHOWTIME, a member of MSN Video since our launch of the service in January 2004, to introduce this edgy and inventive series to our extensive network of unique users," said Mike Conte, general manager of MSN Marketplaces and Digital Media at Microsoft Corp. "Consumers can expect to see even more examples of original programming on MSN Video, which continues to attract high-quality content, exceptional advertising support and fast-growing viewership."

"This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce our outstanding SHOWTIME programming to a whole new audience," said Showtime Executive Vice President Mark Greenberg. "We're confident that once people get a taste of this terrific new series 'Barbershop,' they'll want to sign up for SHOWTIME."

Based on the MGM hit movie franchise of the same name, the SHOWTIME Original Series "Barbershop" stars Omar Gooding as Calvin, the owner of the shop where the trials and tribulations of life on Chicago's South Side unfold. The cast also features Gbenge Akinnagbe, Anna Brown, Wes Chatham, Leslie Elliard, Barry Shabaka Henley, Toni Trucks and Dan White. "Barbershop: The Series" is the first SHOWTIME Original Series episode to be streamed in its entirety on MSN Video, which also features many short-form clips and behind-the-scenes videos from other SHOWTIME series and movies including "Weeds." "Weeds," a new comedy series from SHOWTIME and Lions Gate Television starring Mary-Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk, exposes the dirty little secrets that lie behind pristine suburban lawns. Parker stars as a soccer mom who resorts to selling weed to support her family after her husband unexpectedly dies.

SHOWTIME will air "Barbershop" at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom International 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(R) 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 owns 30 percent interest in 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 U.K.-based Zone Vision.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 420 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 41 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at (http://www.msn.com ). MSN worldwide sites are located at (http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx ).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
Web Site: http://www.microsoft.com





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· BARBERSHOP (SHOWTIME)
· WEEDS (SHOWTIME)





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