[08/11/06 - 12:00 AM]
AMC Announces Pickup of Network's First Original Drama Series 'Mad Men'

[via press release from AMC]

AMC Announces Pickup of Network's First Original Drama Series 'Mad Men'

Lionsgate to Produce Weekly Series

Created By Matthew Weiner ('The Sopranos'), Starring Jon Hamm ('We Were Soldiers'), Elisabeth Moss ('West Wing') Vincent Kartheiser ('Angel'), January Jones ('American Wedding'), Christina Hendricks ('Kevin Hill'), and Guest-starring John Slattery ('K Street')

NEW YORK, NY, August 11, 2006 - AMC announced today that it has greenlit its first dramatic series, Mad Men. Created, written and executive produced by Matthew Weiner (Executive Producer/Writer, "The Sopranos"), Mad Men follows the personal and professional lives of New York advertising execs circa 1960. The one-hour, 13-episode weekly series will be produced by Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, and is set to debut on the network in June 2007. In 2004 Weiner earned an Emmy nomination for his Soprano's episode "Unidentified Black Males" and has written or co-written over eight episodes including last season's "Luxury Lounge". His other writing credits include "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," "Becker" and "The Naked Truth."

"There's nothing like Mad Men on television today," stated Rob Sorcher, AMC's Executive Vice President of Programming and Production. "AMC is all about showcasing entertainment with some enduring, iconic value. Mad Men complements this mission with a high quality, cinematic style."

"We are delighted to be in business with AMC on this compelling series," said Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate's President of Television Programming and Production, "Rob Sorcher and his talented programming team have put suppliers on notice that they intend to be in the scripted business in a major way, and we can't wait to get started. The business opportunity was as attractive as the creative, and Lionsgate TV COO Sandra Stern expertly guided the negotation on behalf of the company."

Weiner added: "Mad Men is a very meaningful project for me, and I'm grateful for the investment and creative support that AMC and Lionsgate have contuibuted. This is the first project for me since the end of 'The Sopranos', and I'm proud that it is debuting as AMC's first dramatic series. I'm hopeful that the show's sense of style, complex story telling and ironic humor will be entertaining to viewers."

Mad Men is a smart and cinematic drama about the professional lives, social mores and sexual exploits of advertising executives on Madison Avenue circa 1960, when the industry was at its height of glamour, power, and prestige. The setting is the Sterling Cooper agency, which sells everything from cigarettes to political candidates. The protagonist, Don Draper, is a fast-rising creative director whose smooth exterior conceals any number of secrets. AMC developed a one-hour pilot of Mad Men in April, which was co-produced by @radical.media, directed by Alan Taylor ('The Sopranos', 'Lost') and filmed on locations in New York City. The show's cast includes: Jon Hamm ('We Were Soldiers'), Elisabeth Moss ('West Wing'), Vincent Kartheiser ('Angel'), January Jones ('American Wedding'), and Christina Hendricks ('Kevin Hill'), as well as guest star John Slattery ('K Street', 'Sex and the City'). AMC's Vlad Wolynetz, Vice President of Production, Series and Movies, and Christina Wayne, Vice President of Scripted Series and Movies, will oversee the development and production of the new drama.

AMC's commitment to celebrate movies and high quality original programming has raised the network to new heights in ratings and delivery. Its new investment in stronger film titles, programming stunts and specials and original content had a tremendous impact in 2004 and 2005, providing AMC with its best year ever in the history of the network. In 2006, AMC has continued its momentum. Bolstered by the success of the network's first-ever original movie event Broken Trail, as well as the critically acclaimed BBC drama Hustle and other top performances, June and July 2006 ranked as AMC's best performing months ever in primetime household and key demo deliveries. The network is up +19% in rating and +20% in household delivery July 06 vs. July 05*. AMC's premiere for its two-part original movie event, Broken Trail became the second most watched cable movie since 1995 and delivered the network all time record ratings with a stellar 7.7 HH rating, HH delivery (6.8 million) and total viewership (9.7 million)**.

Source: Nielsen Media Research. *July 06 M-Su 8-11p performance compared to previous monthly AMC performances April 2000 to date. **2006 (12/26/05-6/26/06) Rank based on HH delivery (000), A2+ delivery (000) among all individual telecasts on all measured cable networks (ad-supported, pay and other). 1/2/95-6/26/06 rank based on HH delivery (000) among all individual movie telecasts on all cable networks (ad-supported, pay and other).

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, winning this year's Best Picture Academy Award´┐Ż for Crash, generating two consecutive years of $300 million-plus domestic theatrical box office, operating a $500 million-plus home entertainment business and producing a broad slate of prime time television series for fiscal 2007. It is a premier producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library of more than 7,800 titles is a valuable source of stable, recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

About AMC

AMC, a division of Rainbow Media's Entertainment Services, which also includes WE tv and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 88,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. AMC has garnered many of the industry's highest honors, including 14 Emmy awards. AMC is "TV for movie people."

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC

Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands including popular national and regional television channels AMC, fuse, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE tv, and two FSN affiliated regional sports networks managed by Rainbow Sports Networks. The company also manages Mag Rack and sportskool, two original on-demand networks; VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere; IFC Entertainment, its film distribution, production and exhibition division; Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division; and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

  [august 2006]  


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