[01/28/08 - 10:16 AM]
Baywatch Returns with a Splash Weeknights on Ion Television
"Baywatch" on ION will launch Monday, March 3, and air Mondays through Thursdays at 10 pm (ET).

[via press release from ION]

"Baywatch" Returns with a Splash Weeknights on ION Television

The "Most-Watched TV Series in the World" from FremantleMedia North America Joins ION Television's Primetime Programming Lineup

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Media Networks, Inc. (AMEX:ION) has entered into an agreement with distributor Litton Entertainment to air FremantleMedia North America's mega-hit television series, "Baywatch," on ION Television, it was jointly announced today by Brandon Burgess, Chairman and CEO of ION Media Networks, and Dave Morgan, President and CEO of Litton Entertainment. The agreement marks the latest addition of popular, quality programming to the network's primetime lineup. This upbeat, action-packed series melds real-life issues, accessible characters and tongue-in-cheek humor to provide ION's broad audience with a perennial favorite that defined a genre. "Baywatch" on ION will launch Monday, March 3, and air Mondays through Thursdays at 10 pm (ET).

"This is another fun example of our strategy to offer upbeat, mainstream programming to our viewers," said Burgess. "This iconic series is a multi-generational TV staple, and 'America's Got Talent' and 'Borat' have made David Hasselhoff and Pam Anderson as hip and relevant as ever."

Set on the beaches of Malibu, "Baywatch" centers on the daily adventures of a team of athletic California lifeguards, their life-saving work and their off-duty relationships. Featuring David Hasselhoff as Lt. Mitch Buchannon, the series made international stars out of Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, Yasmine Bleeth and Alexandra Paul. In each episode, new dangers imperiled the cast, but, racing to the rescue in trademark slow-mo' style, Los Angeles County's finest lifeguards usually prevailed. Not long after its debut, "Baywatch" became the most-watched television show in the world.

"We are thrilled to announce that 'Baywatch' will be back before national audiences in prime time," said Morgan. "This classic series features drama, action, romance, humor and a cast of celebrity icons."

"This brand goes from strength to strength," added Lisa Honig, Vice President, Program Distribution for FremantleMedia Enterprises in North America, the licensing, distribution and home entertainment division of FremantleMedia. "'Baywatch' continues to draw audiences on-air all over the world and remains a lucrative revenue stream off-air with a strong demand in both the home entertainment and consumer products markets. We're delighted to be working with ION and Litton to bring the show back to the domestic fan base."

The new agreement is part of ION's ongoing initiative to add compelling programming from leading content providers that blends effectively with the network's signature quality content. This past New Year's Eve, ION Television added to its primetime lineup the Emmy-nominated series, "The Drew Carey Show." "Baywatch" will further broaden the network's appeal by targeting a contemporary audience with fun and upbeat entertainment.

"Baywatch, which premiered on NBC in 1989 and ran in first-run syndication from 1991-2001, was executive produced by Michael Berk, Gregory J. Bonan and Douglas Schwartz.

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 Litton Entertainment

Litton Entertainment, the preeminent independent distributor in the television industry, has been producing and distributing quality programming for twenty years. Programs include "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," "Baywatch," "Cribs," "Pimp My Ride," "Storm Stories," "Date My Mom," "NASCAR Angels," "Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller," "BusinessWeek Weekend" and theatrical films. Litton News Services include "Good Housekeeping Reports," "BusinessWeek Reports from Wall Street," "Standard & Poors Customized Reports" and "Consumer Reports." For more information, visit www.litton.tv.

About FremantleMedia Enterprises & FremantleMedia

FremantleMedia Enterprises is the content exploitation arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment. It is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 countries worldwide. FremantleMedia is a subsidiary of RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is 90% owned by Bertelsmann AG, an integrated media and entertainment company that commands leading positions in the world's media markets. For further information, visit http://www.fremantlemedia.com.

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative television programs for network, cable and syndicated platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon "American Idol" (FOX), "The Next Great American Band" (FOX), "America's Got Talent" (NBC), "American Inventor" (ABC), "Thank God You're Here" (NBC), "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" (Oxygen), "Property Ladder" (TLC), "Family Feud" (syndicated), "Temptation" (syndicated), "Million Dollar Password" (CBS), and the longest-running game show in television history, "The Price Is Right" (CBS).

  [january 2008]  


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