NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning Talks about His Own Second Chance at Life In Special Promotional Spot for TNT's Upcoming Original Drama HEARTLAND
Miami Heat Player and Kidney Transplant Survivor Featured in Spot Slated to Run During TNT's Coverage of the NBA Playoffs
Spot to Begin Airing on Tuesday, April 24
Treat Williams and Kari Matchett Headline HEARTLAND, A Gripping Drama Series about Transplant Doctor who Offers Second Chances at Life
One-Hour Series from Warner Horizon Television and Creator/Writer/Executive Producer David Hollander
To Premiere Monday, June 18, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Seven-time NBA All-Star and Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning, who in December 2003 underwent a successful kidney transplant, is bringing his personal second-chance story to TNT viewers through a special promotional spot for the network's upcoming original series HEARTLAND. The series is a unique and highly personal drama set in the high-tension world of the organ donor and transplant business. The spot, in which Mourning asks viewers what they would do with a second chance at life, will air during TNT's coverage of the NBA Playoffs, which tipped off on Sunday, April 22 and includes home market exclusivity for its conference semifinals coverage and exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals.
HEARTLAND stars acclaimed actor Treat Williams (Everwood) as Dr. Nathaniel Grant, a pioneering organ-transplant surgeon who takes risks that other doctors would not in order to save the lives of his patients. He works closely with his ex-wife, Kate Armstrong (Kari Matchett � Invasion), an organ-donor coordinator with whom he has a volatile relationship. Grant's arrogance and willingness to perform risky procedures causes him to butt heads with the hospital administration. But his main focus is on his intense relationship with his job and his patients, often at the expense of his family. HEARTLAND, which comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television and creator/writer/executive producer David Hollander (The Guardian), is slated to air Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning June 18.
"We are honored that Alonzo Mourning has agreed to use his own second-chance story to promote this extraordinary drama series about people getting a new lease on life as a result of organ transplants," said Jeff Gregor, chief marketing officer for TNT and sister networks TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "He is not only a remarkable basketball player, but also a man of extreme courage who is using his experience to help others."
"Transplantation gave me a second chance at life," said Mourning. "I was not battling kidney disease and facing a life saving kidney transplant to be able to play basketball again. Just like so many others, I was battling for my life and for my family. Now, every day that I wake up, I truly understand how blessed I was to receive a kidney from my cousin."
Mourning is an advocate of educating people on the topic of organ donation. He said, "I believe that education is freedom and the more information that people have about the process the more likely they are to sign up to become an organ donor. So through my foundation, Zo's Fund for Life, and by partnering with TNT on HEARTLAND together we can educate on this very important topic while showcasing the inspirational stories of both transplant recipients and donors."
A Georgetown University graduate, Mourning has played for the Miami Heat since 2005, his second stint with the team after having been an important member of the roster from 1995-2001. He has also played for the New Jersey Nets (2003-04) and the Charlotte Hornets (1992-95) and played a critical role as a member of the U.S. team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Mourning's incredible accomplishments in the NBA include being twice named NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1999 and 2000) and being selected as an NBA All-Star seven times. Last year, he helped the Heat win the NBA Championship, and he recently became the team's all-time leader in points scored.
Off the court, Mourning has dedicated himself to creating positive and lasting change in the lives of children. He has focused his community involvement on becoming an outspoken advocate for youth initiatives and foster care programs that help abused, neglected and abandoned kids. Upon entering the National Basketball Association (NBA), he became the national spokesperson for the prevention of child abuse and the NBA's Healthy Family America Program. At every Miami Heat game, 30 children get free seats in the Zo Zone and he donates $100 per blocked shot to the Children's Home Society and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Zo's Fund for Life was put together in 2000, after he was diagnosed with Focal Glomerulosclerosis. He raised over $2 million for research, education and medicine to help find a cure for kidney disease, educate doctors and patients and help patients with the expensive medication that is needed to help fight the disease. More information about Zo's Fund for Life is available at www.zosfundforlife.org.
Warner Horizon Television is one of the entertainment industry's fastest-growing television companies, specializing in the creation of scripted series for the cable marketplace, and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's top-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including the acclaimed detective drama The Closer, starring Golden Globe� winner and Emmy� and Screen Actors Guild Awards� nominee Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, a bold new drama starring Oscar�-winner Holly Hunter; Heartland, a powerful medical drama with Treat Williams and Kari Matchett; and this summer's eagerly anticipated television event The Company, executive produced by Ridley Scott and starring Chris O'Donnell, Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Without a Trace, Law & Order, Las Vegas, Cold Case, ER, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming to the basic cable industry.