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[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime Picks Up Tracey Ullman for Second Season and Commits to Production on British Comedian Marc Wootton's New Comedy Series

Two Series Join Strong Comedy Line-Up on Showtime

LOS ANGELES, May 2 -- Comedy continues to be king -- and queen -- on SHOWTIME. Seven-time-Emmy(R)-winner Tracey Ullman will return for a second hilarious season in her critically-acclaimed series TRACEY ULLMAN'S STATE OF THE UNION in 7 new episodes, and British comedian Marc Wootton will bring his unique comedic voice to American television in a new 6-episode comedy series, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment for Showtime Networks. Both will air in 2009.

"I won't hold it against them that both are from the U.K.," Greenblatt joked, "but Tracey Ullman is the veteran genius who continues to impress us with her versatility, while Marc Wootton is the up-and-comer who will surprise our audience with his own unique voice. This is an embarrassment of riches for us in the comedy department."

TRACEY ULLMAN'S STATE OF THE UNION, Season 2 will start production in the fall and will air on SHOWTIME in 2009. The new seven-episode series will showcase Ullman's trademark talent in developing characters, some familiar and also some unknown, in creating a rich tapestry of American life. Ullman will once again serve as executive producer with her husband Allan McKeown, and she will also write the episodes.

The MARC WOOTTON PROJECT will feature the acclaimed British comedian in a six-episode series of alternative comedy highlighted by his unique brand of character-driven sketches that have made him a hit in the U.K. The concept of this yet-untitled series is still being developed, but the show will go into production and premiere on SHOWTIME in 2009. It will feature Wootton's outrageous and provocative characters. Wootton, who has appeared in numerous comedy series and specials in the U.K., is best known for his role as an overly theatrical psychic named Shirley Ghostman who performs for an unsuspecting audience who think he's real on the BBC series High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman. Writers for the BBC series included Wootton and Oscar(R)-nominee Peter Baynham (Borat). LA WEEKLY described it as "Da Ali G Show meets Crossing Over with John Edward."

Wootton also wrote and starred in a comedy game show called My New Best Friend, for which he garnered a British Comedy Award Nomination for Best TV Comedy Newcomer in 2003. Most recently, Wootton wrote and starred in the BBC sketch comedy show Marc Wootton Exposed. His new SHOWTIME series will be directed and executive produced by Misha Manson-Smith, Wootton's frequent collaborator. Manson-Smith recently won three Emmy(R) Awards and a BAFTA award for editing and direction of the acclaimed documentary Death In Gaza. Michael Rizzo will also serve as co-executive producer of the new series.

Tracey Ullman and Marc Wootton join a diverse and growing comedy slate at SHOWTIME that gets jump started on June 16th with the powerhouse comedy block of WEEDS (fourth season) and the premiere of British import SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL. In addition, the wry humor of David Duchovny as Hank Moody in CALIFORNICATION returns this fall, and Showtime is also in production on two high-profile comedy pilots starring the outstanding talents of Toni Collette (in THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, created by "Juno" Oscar(R)-Winner Diablo Cody) and Edie Falco (in a yet-untitled program in which she portrays a New York City nurse juggling the ridiculous world of her work and a complicated domestic life).

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(TM), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(TM) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. In addition, SNI manages and is the principal owner of Smithsonian Networks(TM), a venture with the Smithsonian Institution, which was formed to create networks showcasing scientific, cultural and historical programming. SNI is also the principal owner of On Broadband Networks LLC, a broadband game service provider, and OurChart.com LLC, provider of OurChart.com(TM), a social networking website featuring elements from the SHOWTIME hit series "The L Word(R)". SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV and is an equity investor in ProElite Inc., a Mixed Martial Arts event promotion company.

  [may 2008]  


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