Twentieth Television and Tribune Broadcasting Close Off-Net Syndication Agreement on Hit Sitcom "Family Guy"
Seth MacFarlane's Emmy Award Series to Premiere on Tribune Stations in Fall 2007
LOS ANGELES/CHICAGO, July 6, 2006 -- Twentieth Television has cleared Seth MacFarlane�s hit Emmy Award-winning animated sitcom "Family Guy" on the Tribune Broadcasting station group for a fall 2007 launch in off-net syndication. The announcement was jointly made today by Bob Cook, president and COO of Twentieth Television; and John Reardon, president of Tribune Broadcasting, a division of Tribune Company.
Under terms of the agreement, the series about the Griffin family (father Peter, wife Lois, their kids and a very brainy dog) that pokes fun at everyday middle-class life will premiere in 20 major markets, representing 37.8% of the United States. Tribune stations set to premiere "Family Guy" in off-net include WPIX/New York, KTLA/Los Angeles, WGN/Chicago, WPHL/Philadelphia, WLVI/Boston, KDAF/Dallas, WDCW/Washington, KHCW/Houston, KCPQ-KTWB/Seattle, WBZL/Miami, KWGN/Denver, KTXL/Sacramento, KPLR/St. Louis, KWBP/Portland, WXIN-WTTV/Indianapolis, KSWB/San Diego, WTIC-WTXX/Hartford, WXMI/Grand Rapids, WPMT/Harrisburg and WGNO-WNOL/New Orleans.
Regarding the announcement, Cook stated, "We are very pleased to have entered into this agreement on �Family Guy� with Tribune Broadcasting. From the genius of Seth MacFarlane, �Family Guy� is a pop culture phenomenon that has accomplished extraordinary popularity. We expect this success to continue during its off-net window for the Tribune station group."
"We�re always looking to acquire engaging, high-quality programs to refresh our local lineups," added Tribune�s Reardon. " �Family Guy� fits that description and we look forward to the show having a positive impact on ratings and revenues across our group."
Since its debut in 1999, the Emmy Award-winning series has attracted an impressively loyal following of devoted fans and has sold nine million combined DVD units, outperforming "The Simpsons," "South Park," "Seinfeld," "Friends" and "Everybody Loves Raymond." The show�s success on DVD, combined with the ratings records it set on the Cartoon Network�s Adult Swim block, prompted FOX to bring it back for a fifth season, making "Family Guy" the only series ever to return to television after being cancelled.
A multiplatform success, more than 500 "Family Guy" merchandise items have been licensed in over 10,000 consumer outlets, including such major retailers as Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart. On the web, "Family Guy" was 2005�s third most searched television program of the year on Yahoo! and currently is the number one most downloaded cell phone television property, with 2.3 million ring tones, voice tones, wallpaper, ring backs and games downloaded to date. On stage, the hit "Family Guy Live!" events have sold out numerous performances in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
"Family Guy�s" current season, its fifth, continues with more distinctively twisted and irreverently outrageous trials and tribulations of Peter Griffin (MacFarlane) and his not-quite-so-average family. Immersed in television�s most clever storylines and scripts, Lois (Alex Borstein) is Peter�s loving wife, who struggles to maintain a modicum of normalcy in their home life. Then there are their kids: angst-ridden, 16-year-old Meg (Mila Kunis), who only really wants to get noticed; 13-year-old Chris (Seth Green), a sweet-natured slacker; and 1-year-old Stewie (MacFarlane), a diabolically clever baby who�s already bent on world domination. Rounding out the Griffin household is Brian, the family dog who has a penchant for dry martinis and Shakespearean sonnets.
In addition to the regular cast, "Family Guy" has featured a diverse range of guest voice appearances, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lee Majors, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Drew Barrymore, Kiefer Sutherland, the legendary rock group KISS, James Woods, Phyllis Diller, Robert Downey, Jr., Carol Channing, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, among others.
The program won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2000, and in 2002 won an Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. "Family Guy" has been nominated for Outstanding Animated Program in 2000 and 2005.
"Family Guy" is a 20th Century Fox Television production. MacFarlane is creator/executive producer and David Goodman is executive producer and show runner. Chris Sheridan also serves as executive producer.
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TRIBUNE (NYSE:TRB) is one of the country�s top media companies, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation�s top three markets. In publishing, Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications. The company�s broadcasting group operates 26 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago�s WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune�s print and broadcast properties and extend the company�s nationwide audience.
A leader in the U.S. program production and distribution arena, Twentieth Television is a unit of Fox Television and headed by Fox Television Stations� chairman Roger Ailes while CEO Jack Abernethy oversees day-to-day operations. Twentieth Television provides a wide array of first-run and off-network programming, as well as feature film packages, to the syndication and cable marketplaces. First-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include �Geraldo at Large,� the news strip hosted by Geraldo Rivera, and the popular court shows �Divorce Court� and �Judge Alex,� the number one new first-run program of the 2005-06 season. In fall 2006, the company will launch the primetime drama strips �Desire� and �Fashion House� on the new general entertainment broadcast television network MyNetworkTV. Furthermore, the company is set to launch the new first-run syndicated court show �Cristina�s Court,� hosted by Cristina Perez, in fall 2006. Twentieth Television also oversees the domestic sales of one of the most extensive libraries of off-net programming in the entertainment industry. Last fall, the company launched the groundbreaking drama �24,� starring Kiefer Sutherland, and The Peabody Award-winning sitcom �The Bernie Mac Show� in off-net syndication. Twentieth Television sells national advertising units retained by the company in off-network, theatrical and first-run programming, as well as oversees advertising sales for DIRECTV.