[02/01/06 - 12:00 AM]
Lifetime Television Partners with Publishing Phenomenon Nora Roberts and Peter Guber's Mandalay Television on Four Lifetime Original Movies

[via press release from Lifetime]

Lifetime Television Partners With Publishing Phenomenon Nora Roberts and Peter Guber's Mandalay Television on Four Lifetime Original Movies

#1 New York Times Best-Selling Author, Roberts Has Over 280 Million Books in Print

Peter Guber and Stephanie Germain to Executive Produce

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1 -- World renowned novelist and publishing sensation Nora Roberts and entertainment industry producer Peter Guber's Mandalay Television will join creative forces with Lifetime Television, it was announced today by Trevor Walton, Senior Vice President, Original Movies. The network plans to turn four of Roberts' best-selling novels into Lifetime Original Movies over the course of next year, with Guber and Stephanie Germain serving as executive producers.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with publishing and Hollywood legends Nora Roberts and Peter Guber," said Walton. "Selling an average of 21 books every minute, Nora's talent is endless and the American public cannot get enough of her work. The piece de resistance is that we have Peter and Stephanie's tremendous talent to help us bring Nora's great storytelling to life." Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, said, "Building this exciting filmed franchise by combining Lifetime's powerful brand with Nora Roberts, a stratospheric author, will create a compelling entertainment experience." Germain, President of Stephanie Germain Productions, added, "Nora's books are a perfect match with Lifetime's commitment to bring inspirational women's stories to their audience."

Bestselling titles presently being developed for the four movies include: Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon, Montana Sky, The Villa, Brazen Virtue and River's End.

Since publishing her first novel in 1981, Roberts has gone on to become a #1 New York Times best-selling sensation. With more than 280 million books in print, Roberts' novels have spent a combined 100 weeks at the #1 spot on the coveted list. In addition, since 1999, every book published under her name has hit the New York Times best-seller list.

Amazon.com recently reported that Roberts is their third most popular author -- following only Tom Clancy and JK Rowling. Roberts is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry.

"I'm delighted that the movies based on my books will be in the very creative hands of Peter Guber, Stephanie Germain and Lifetime Television," enthused Roberts. "It's an exciting venture for me as a writer and as a woman."

The Roberts adaptation joins an impressive list of novels developed into Lifetime Original Movies including Joyce Carol Oates' "We Were the Mulvaneys," starring Blythe Danner and Beau Bridges; Jodi Picoult's "The Pact," starring Megan Mullally and "Plain Truth," starring Mariska Hargitay; and Chris Bohjalian's "Midwives," starring Sissy Spacek.

In 2005, Lifetime Original Movies dominated the basic cable landscape, posting the eight most watched movies on all of ad-supported basic cable and ranking #1 versus all basic cable networks in primetime households, W18-34, W18-49 and W25-54. The 15 LOMs in 2005 averaged 4.1 million total viewers and a 3.6 primetime household rating. The Lifetime Original Movie "Human Trafficking" was the most watched of the year, averaging 5.5 million viewers over two nights, followed by Lifetime's own "Odd Girl Out" and "Murder in the Hamptons."

Mandalay Television has achieved great success in series, made-for-television movies and miniseries. Mandalay movies and miniseries have produced some of the strongest ratings of all-time, including Dean Koontz's: "Intensity," a four-hour miniseries based on the best-seller by Dean Koontz -- the highest rated miniseries ever on FOX Broadcasting; "First Daughter," a two-hour original movie starring Mariel Hemingway for TBS which was the highest rated basic cable movie in history and spawned two sequels, "First Target" and "First Shot"; "Blood Crime," which launched USA's Crime Friday and was the highest rated original program for the network in 2002; and "The Linda McCartney Story." Mandalay is currently in production on "Brotherhood," a series for Showtime.

A 30-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Guber is one of Hollywood's most accomplished producers. Formerly the studio chief at Columbia Pictures in the 1970s and Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures, Guber is now chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, which he founded in 1995. The films that he has produced -- including "Midnight Express," "The Color Purple," "Rainman," "Batman," "Flashdance," "Witches of Eastwick" and "The Deep" -- have earned billions of dollars in worldwide revenue and have been nominated for numerous Academy Awards(R). Guber currently hosts AMC's "Sunday Morning Shootout" with Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart.

Germain made a meteoric rise through the production ranks, forming her own company, Stephanie Germain Productions, in 1997. Her company's recent credits include the Emmy(R) and PGA nominated movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day" for A&E; the Lifetime Original Movie, "Gracie's Choice"; and "The Pilot's Wife" for CBS. She also served as executive producer on the 20th Century Fox release "The Day After Tomorrow" and co-produced the Showtime series "Jeremiah" starring Luke Perry.

Guber, Mandalay and Germain previously teamed successfully on "The Pilot's Wife" based on Anita Shreve's best-seller and "Muhammad Ali ... King of the World," which starred Terrence Howard and was based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick.

Nora Roberts is represented by literary agent Amy Berkower at Writers House, LLC and by CAA. Nora Roberts books are published by Penguin Group (US).

Mandalay Television is part of the Mandalay Entertainment Group, which produces content for theatrical release, television, sports and new media. Mandalay Pictures produces major features with A-List casts, including "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Donnie Brasco" starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, and "The Score" starring Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett. Mandalay Mosaic Television Group is a producer of series and feature entertainment for broadcast and cable and owns Dick Clark Productions, through which it produces some of the most recognized and successful televised awards shows including The Golden Globes and The American Music Awards. Mandalay Sports Entertainment is a leading owner operator of acclaimed sports franchises and facilities throughout the country.

Lifetime is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

SOURCE Lifetime Television
Web Site: http://www.lifetimetv.com

  [february 2006]  


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