ION Television Inks Deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to Acquire a Slate of "A-List" Feature Films
Movie Package Includes Exclusive Windows for "The Departed" and "Ocean's Thirteen"
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Reinforcing an aggressive commitment to build its primetime schedule with high-profile, event-driven programming, ION Television has acquired a major new feature film package from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) which includes exclusive windows for multiple Oscar� winner "The Departed" and acclaimed hit "Ocean's Thirteen." The announcement was made today by Leslie Chesloff, Executive Vice President, Programming, ION Media Networks. The movies will air immediately beginning this month, with broadcast runs as far out as 2010.
This announcement underscores ION Television's continued positioning as a leading network destination for "A-list" feature films. This movie package expands upon ION's current roster of hit films from WBDTD, which will now boast nearly 70 titles. In addition to "The Departed" and "Ocean's Thirteen," the new WBDTD film package features a dozen hit movies, including "Heat," starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and directed by Michael Mann; "The Matrix Reloaded," starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Ann Moss, written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers, and produced by Joel Silver; "The Perfect Storm," starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg; "Passenger 57," starring Wesley Snipes; and "Assassins," starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore, produced by Joel Silver and directed by Richard Donner; among others.
"We have built a strong momentum in acquiring hit films from all the major studios, with this being the fourth recent acquisition from Warner Bros.," said Chesloff. "This deal reinforces our mission to bring our viewers a prime time programming mix that combines compelling first run and top network series with major theatrical titles, including exclusive windows for features. We are confident that as viewers continue to gravitate toward ION's positively entertaining programming, we will maintain and expand the level of dramatic audience growth that has been a signature of our success since last year's re-launch."
"We are thrilled to continue our close relationship with ION, which has provided a very strong television home for our films," said WBDTD President Ken Werner. "Theatrical motion pictures continue to deliver strong ratings, providing networks with powerful programming options that come with high awareness, built-in audience and the ability to recruit new viewers."
"The Departed" earned four Academy Awards�, including Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga and Alec Baldwin. The screenplay is by William Monahan, and the producers are Brad Pitt, Brad Grey and Graham King.
"Ocean's Thirteen" reunites stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison and Shaobo Qin with Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould. Al Pacino joins the cast as Willy Bank, with Ellen Barkin starring as his right-hand woman, Abigail Sponder. The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh, written by Brian Koppelman & David Levien, produced by Jerry Weintraub, and has grossed over $300 million worldwide to date.
About ION Television
ION Television (www.iontelevision.com) is a general entertainment network which reaches over 95 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Launched in 2006, ION Television features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of RHI Entertainment, CBS Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros. Parent company, ION Media Networks, Inc., owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group. Using its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched the digital TV brands qubo, a channel for children focusing on literacy and values, and ION Life, a channel dedicated to active living and personal growth. It also has launched Open Mobile Ventures Corporation (OMVION), a business unit focused on the research and development of portable, mobile and out-of-home transmission technology using over-the-air digital television spectrum. For more information, visit www.ionmedia.com.