A&E NETWORK ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE BRAND POSITIONING
'REAL LIFE. DRAMA.' TO BECOME THE NEW TAGLINE; CAMPAIGN TO LAUNCH MEMORIAL DAY
A&E EXPANDS ORIGINAL DRAMA DEVELOPMENT AND REINFORCES
REAL-LIFE PROGRAMMING FRANCHISES WITH THREE NEW SERIES
AND EIGHT RETURNING HIT SERIES
New York, NY � April 28, 2008 � A&E will launch a comprehensive multi-platform positioning of the network's brand, which includes a new logo, new look and feel, both on-air and online. The centerpiece of the new brand will be the tagline "Real Life. Drama.," it was announced today at the network's upfront presentation by Bob DeBitetto, Executive Vice President and General Manager of A&E.
A&E has undergone a dramatic and successful transformation to a premium entertainment network. After enjoying four consecutive years of growth and securing its place among cable's top-tier networks, the time is now to clearly declare the focused brand to the trade, as well as viewers.
"We have enjoyed tremendous success as a result of the strategic transformation of A&E over the past few years," said DeBitetto. "We believe our new tagline is an apt shorthand for who we are; quality unscripted real life shows and scripted drama. Our real life shows are emotional and dramatic, and our scripted dramas are authentic."
"The new brand campaign is a result of eighteen months of extensive demographic and psychographic audience research to better understand the consumers who are driving our recent success," said Guy Slattery, Senior Vice President of Marketing, A&E. "The tagline 'Real Life. Drama.,' the new logo and look will emphasize A&E's unique brand which promises our viewers honest, emotionally intense television that engages them and isn't afraid to show life as it really is."
The new campaign will feature key characters from across the network each posing a challenge to the viewer that gets to the emotional heart of the real life drama in each of our shows. It will begin this Memorial Day during the premiere of the Ridley and Tony Scott produced event "The Andromeda Strain" and will continue throughout the summer, when the network introduces the first scripted series "The Cleaner," starring Benjamin Bratt. The campaign includes national and local televisions spots, online, print advertising in major publications and out-of-home in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago.
The positioning of the network will be executed across all platforms, including the successful AETV.com website. AETV.com, which has enjoyed 310% growth in video traffic in the past year, will be overhauled to take on the same new look and feel as the linear network.
A&E finished the first quarter of 2008 by posting the best quarterly audience delivery in network history across all key demographics. The network finished in fourth place among adults 25-54 and fifth among adults 18-49, versus all ad-supported cable networks. A&E currently has the most original programming of any top five cable network and will increase original programming by 37% by the third quarter of 2008.
A&E will continue to make strategic investments in original drama. The Los Angeles-based scripted development team is currently in the second round of aggressive, targeted development, with the intent to have two signature series on the schedule each year; smart, powerful shows with engaging lead characters executed at the highest level of quality. Currently there are two recently completed pilots in contention for a second scripted series to launch in early 2009, "The Beast" starring Patrick Swayze, and "Danny Fricke" starring Connie Nielsen.
The network has also announced the addition of three new real life series and eight returning franchises for 2008:
"The Squad" - Tehachapi maximum security prison is a city filled with the nation's worst criminals - and "The Squad" is its police force. "The Squad" is a twelve-member team that responds to and investigates every crime in the prison -- from riots and assaults, to organized crime and drugs, to stabbings and murders. As the only investigative unit in the prison, "The Squad" functions as detectives, SWAT and CSI all rolled into one. Each episode of this dramatic real life series will follow at least one investigation from beginning to end. With exclusive and unfettered access to this team, "The Squad" will be a powerful new series with the look and feel of "The First 48" behind bars. "The Squad" is produced by Wild Eyes Productions for A&E Network. David Keane is Executive Producer. Executive producers for A&E are Robert Sharenow and Laura Fleury.
"Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal" � On the heels of the extremely successful inaugural season of the A&E "Paranormal State," A&E announces a companion real life series "Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal." Your child comes to you and says, "I see dead people." What do you do with that information? There are parents who are scared and isolated with problems that they often keep quiet � issues dealing about their children's paranormal abilities. Now, thanks to Medium Chip Coffey and renowned psychologist and Columbia University professor, Dr. Lisa Miller, help is on the way. From "seeing dead people" to frightening abilities to predict the future, Chip and Lisa will uncover the truths and help the terrified and gifted come to terms with their abilities. "Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal" is produced by Four Seasons Productions Intl. Betsy Schechter and George Plamondon are the executive producers. A&E executive producers are Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant.
"Jacked!" � "Jacked!" gives viewers an inside look at the real and rarely seen stealth tactics used to put car thieves behind bars -- and with someone stealing a car every 26 seconds in the U.S., there's no shortage of material. The series follows The Auto Theft Task Force in Northern New Jersey on their high-speed, high-stakes pursuits. This specialized group of police officers employs cutting edge technology such as ten supped-up, heavily armored SUV's, bait cars equipped with GPS tracking devices and remote control cut-offs for windows, doors, and engines, and even a helicopter that has heat seeking technology for the sole purpose of apprehending car thieves and hauling them off to jail. "Jacked!" is produced by Pangolin Pictures. For Pangolin Pictures, Kevin Bachar is the executive producer. Executive producers for A&E are Robert Sharenow and Andy Berg.
"Intervention" � After experiencing 70% growth in its third season, "Intervention" returns for another season of the critically-acclaimed, emotionally gripping, real life series that chronicles individuals at the boiling point of a personal crisis as they are confronted by friends and family who have made the decision to plan an intervention. This series not only documents the "rock-bottom" moments, but brings hope to families everywhere living with addiction. "Intervention" is produced for A&E Network by GRB. Gary Benz, Michael Branton, Dan Partland, and Sam Mettler are executive producers for GRB. Robert Sharenow and Colleen Conway are the executive producer for A&E Network.
"Gene Simmons Family Jewels" � Currently in its third season and posting double-digit increases over the second season, "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" will return for a fourth season. Dad is Gene Simmons � the legendary, tongue wagging demon of KISS. Mom is Shannon Tweed -- former Playmate of the Year, actress and model. And their kids, Nick and Sophie, are, well...surprisingly charming, well-behaved teenagers dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, even though Mom and Dad are truly like no one else's parents. Each episode reveals another layer of Gene's private self, a side that he has kept hidden until now, and shows how the most non-traditional, traditional family in America manages to make it all work under the strangest of circumstances. Funny, loving, often at odds, this is a real life extraordinary family -- but one that we can all identify with. "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" is produced by The Greif Company and the Gene Simmons Company. Leslie Greif, Adam Reed, Adam Freeman and Gene Simmons are the series executive producers. Robert Sharenow and Neil A. Cohen are the A&E executive producers.
"Paranormal State" - Season 2 of one of A&E's top original real life series of all-time follows the dramatic life of Penn State University college student Ryan Buell and the student members of The Paranormal Research Society (PRS) of Penn State University as they seek to find the truth behind terrifying real life mysteries. Each week Ryan and the PRS team are contacted for help by outside parties ranging from The Catholic Church to ordinary families to investigate poltergeists, hauntings and the darkest areas of the unknown. "Paranormal State" is produced by Four Seasons Productions Intl and Go Go Luckey Productions for A&E Networks. Gary Auerbach, Julie Auerbach and Betsy Schechter are the executive producers. A&E executive producers are Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant.
"Criss Angel Mindfreak" � A&E's real life series "Criss Angel Mindfreak" stretches the boundaries of reality and belief as mystifier Criss Angel executes incredible illusions, death-defying escapes, fearless demonstrations, and astonishing physical feats. This new season will kick off with a live event where Criss locks himself up inside a sports stadium that's about to be imploded. "Criss Angel Mindfreak" is created, directed and produced by Criss Angel, and produced by Angel Productions Worldwide, Inc. and The Firm Television. Criss Angel, Dave Baram and Erich Recker serve as the executive producers. Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant are the A&E executive producers.
"Crime 360" � After debuting as the top justice series premiere in network history, the real life series "Crime 360" is the perfect blend of verit� crime drama and high-tech CGI graphics � a completely new way to experience real-life criminal investigations as they unfold. In Crime 360, real, in the moment investigation meets technology for the first time in non-fiction television, where viewers go inside detective work as theories, forensics and evidence are brought to life through incredible CGI visualizations and state-of-the-art 3D photography. From the moment detectives are called to scene, viewers experience the investigation as if they were there, in a way they've never seen before! "Crime 360" is produced by Base Productions for A&E Network. John Brenkus and Mickey Stern serve as executive producers for Base Productions. A&E executive producers are Robert Sharenow and Laura Fleury.
"The First 48" - the highest rated non-fiction justice series in cable comes back strong for another season promising to bring viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations with unprecedented access to crime scenes, forensic processing and interrogations. The series follows homicide detectives in real time during the first critical 48 Hours of a murder investigation in the nation's top police departments that include: Minneapolis, Tucson, Miami, Memphis, Dallas, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit. "The First 48" is produced by Granada America for A&E Network. For Granada America, executive producer is John X. Kim. A&E Executive Producers are Laura Fleury, Colleen Conway and Robert Sharenow.
"The Two Coreys" � The first season of "The Two Coreys" left Corey Feldman and Corey Haim at loggerheads over their personal and professional relationship. And so, with their brotherhood at stake, the second season begins. Throughout the series, Feldman and Haim will try a variety of tasks to resuscitate their friendship. Like a married couple that has grown apart, they will need to go back to their roots to rediscover the bond that once made them closer than brothers, learn to trust one another again, and ultimately find common ground in the present. Along the way, both Coreys will deal with very real issues and confront their storied pasts. Nothing they say or do is off-limits to the cameras in this new cinema verite take on the 80's icons. Produced by RDF USA and Tijuana Entertainment for A&E Network. Chris Coelen, Greg Goldman and Tony Yates serve as executive producers for RDF USA. Tory Searer and John Foy serve as executive producers for Tijuana Entertainment. Scott Carlson from Carlson Entertainment, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim also serve as executive producers. A&E Executive Producers are Robert Sharenow, Scott Lonker and Michael Morrison.
"Parking Wars" � They tuck tickets under our windshields and clamp yellow boots to our car wheels. They are called every name in the book. Some try to run from them. Others try to run them over. They are the people we love to hate, but never before have they been so fascinating. "Parking Wars" is a real, exclusive, behind-the-scenes ride with the men and women of the Philadelphia Parking Authority as they manage the chaos that is every driver's greatest nightmare.... parking! "Parking Wars" is produced for A&E by Hybrid Films. Daniel Elias and David Houts are the executive producers. Robert Sharenow and Laura Fleury are the executive producers for A&E.
Now reaching more than 96 million homes, A&E is television that you can't turn away from; where real life shows are dramatic and scripted dramas are authentic. A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment; ranging from the network's signature Real-Life Series franchise, including the hit series "Intervention," "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," "Paranormal State" and "Criss Angel Mindfreak," to the most successful justice shows on cable, including "The First 48" and "Crime 360" and original scripted series including "The Cleaner" starring Benjamin Bratt. A&E is also the official basic cable home to the high-profile series "The Sopranos," "CSI: Miami" and "Criminal Minds." A&E is "Real Life. Drama." The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com. For more press information and photography please visit us on the web at www.aetvpress.com.