ION Television Secures Rights to Sitcom Favorite "The Drew Carey Show" From Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution
Network to Launch Emmy-Nominated Series in Primetime with a "Drew Year's Party" Marathon on New Year's Eve
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Media Networks, Inc. (AMEX:ION) announced today that it has obtained from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution the rights to air the beloved, long-running sitcom, The Drew Carey Show. ION Television will launch the Emmy-nominated series with a New Year's Eve marathon from 7:00-11:00 pm (ET), and then add it to the network's weeknight primetime lineup New Year's Day with airings Mondays through Thursdays at 9:00 pm and 9:30 pm (ET).
"The Drew Carey Show will bring a nice breath of fresh air to ION Television's primetime lineup," said Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. "It advances our plan to broaden our network's appeal by targeting a contemporary audience with timeless humor and entertainment."
"We are thrilled to be in business with ION and believe that their acquisition of The Drew Carey Show for their primetime lineup is a smart decision based upon the show's proven ratings track record and the star power of Drew Carey, who is one of the most recognizable names in comedy today," said Eric Frankel, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.
A long-running hit, The Drew Carey Show is one of only seven network sitcoms to last nine seasons on the air. Set in Cleveland, Ohio, the clever, fast-paced series depicts the plight of an average "everyman." An overweight and over-worked protagonist whose love life is far from enviable, Drew is a sympathetic character that viewers have grown to love. Accompanied by his longtime friends, Kate O'Brien (Christa Miller), Oswald Lee Harvey (Diedrich Bader) and Lewis Michelangelo Kiniski (Ryan Stiles), he navigates the everyday struggles of life, relationships and success. Meanwhile, his workplace tribulations are heightened by his cosmetically-challenged arch nemesis, Mimi Bobeck (Kathy Kinney). Regardless of his less than glamorous lifestyle, Drew Carey certainly makes his audience realize that Cleveland does, indeed, Rock!
Beginning in January, Drew fans will be able to relive the fun of The Drew Carey Show on ION Television, and enjoy a whole new dimension of the series with contests, interactive experiences and special features.
Drew Carey continues to be hugely popular with television audiences and is one of the most recognizable comedians working today, ranking behind only Bill Cosby in the 2006 Q Score familiarity and appeal measurements. This season, he's taken over the hosting duties of one of TV's longest-running and most popular series ever, The Price Is Right, and he also hosts the new game show, The Power of 10. He's won three People's Choice Awards, and has been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Drew Carey Show propelled not only its star to fame, but launched the careers of several other cast members, as well. Christa Miller, who played Drew's spunky pal, Kate, has continued her brash comedy with a full-time role on Scrubs. Kate Walsh, a.k.a. Drew's on-again, off-again girlfriend Nicki Fifer, moved on to land a major role on Grey's Anatomy and now stars in Private Practice. And, Craig Ferguson, who played boss man Nigel Algernon Wick, has become the newest luminary of late-night TV. The show also featured many high-profile guests, from the favorites Dick Clark and Shirley Jones to the colorful Eugene Levy and "Weird Al" Yankovic to the Emmy-winning star of Entourage, Jeremy Piven.
From Mohawk Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Drew Carey Show was created by Carey & Bruce Helford. Carey, Deborah Oppenheimer, Helford, Dave Caplan, Russ Woody and Dan O'Keefe are the executive producers.
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, reaching over 94 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. ION Television currently features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television, among others. ION Media has also partnered with RHI Entertainment, which owns over 4,000 hours of acclaimed television content, to provide weekend primetime programming consisting of exclusive original programming and quality library titles. Utilizing its digital multicasting capability, the company has launched several digital TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with several leading media and entertainment companies, and ION Life, a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families. For more information, visit www.ionmedia.tv.
About Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution (WBDCD) is one of the leading suppliers of programming to the pay television and basic cable marketplaces. WBDCD is responsible for the sale, marketing and distribution of previously produced content from the vast Warner Bros. Entertainment library � including feature films, television series, miniseries, television movies and specials � to basic cable and pay TV. WBDCD is also a major licensor of feature films to the broadcast networks.