EPIX� Taps Industry Veteran Laverne McKinnon to Lead Originals
McKinnon Steps in as Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development
NEW YORK -- EPIX�, the premium entertainment joint venture formed by Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), announced today the appointment of Laverne McKinnon to executive vice president of Original Programming and Development, effective immediately.
"With more than fifteen years in the industry, Laverne knows her way around new series and original events better than anyone and has an impressive resume that boasts viewer favorites such as the CSI franchise and incredible experience working with great talent like Shawn Ryan, Tony Hawk, Alicia Keys, Jon Turteltaub and Mike Newell," said Mark Greenberg, president of EPIX. "She has the rare ability to think creatively and strategically while maintaining a focus on what subscribers want. We are extremely pleased that Laverne is joining the EPIX team."
In February, EPIX greenlit its first original series "Tough Trade," which is slated for 2010. The series is a provocative one-hour drama about a prodigal son who becomes the salvation of his family � a Nashville music dynasty which is morally corrupt and financially bankrupt. EPIX has also announced, Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black, filmed live before sold-out audiences at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit, which will air in December. All original series and special events will be available across EPIX platforms � on television, video on demand and at epixhd.com.
McKinnon joins EPIX from Shibui Entertainment where she served as president and CEO. Previously, she oversaw development of all television and live stage properties for Mike Newell's production company 50 Cannon, where she served as President. McKinnon worked for ten years at CBS Entertainment, most recently as senior vice president Drama Development. Earlier, she had served as Director Current Programs and Director Children's Programs for CBS Entertainment.
"Consumers are increasingly demanding access to movies, series and specials across multiple platforms � and EPIX is the first service to cater to the traditional TV viewer, the VOD fan and the online enthusiast," said McKinnon. "I couldn't be more excited about developing and overseeing original programming with EPIX, a true multiplatform pioneer in the premium entertainment space."
McKinnon received her Bachelor of Sciences in Radio, Television and Film from Northwestern University and her MBA in Business Management from Pepperdine University's George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management.
EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), is a next-generation multiplatform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service launched on October 30, 2009. EPIX is currently distributed by Verizon FiOS on Channel 395 in SD and Channel 895 in HD and will be distributed by other partners. With access to more than 15,000 motion pictures spanning the vast libraries of the partner studios, EPIX will deliver films from Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009, which will be available exclusively to its subscribers.
Providing a powerful entertainment experience with more feature films on demand and online and more HD movies than any other service, EPIX will air new Hollywood titles plus classic feature films, original series, and music and comedy specials. It is the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up on video-on-demand, online and on the linear channel. Further, EPIX has made the commitment to deliver the industry's most expansive online collection of movies, making more than 3,000 titles available online to subscribers via its enhanced service EPIX Megaplex.
The joint venture controls all rights to EPIX's programming and Viacom provides operational support, including marketing and affiliate services through its MTV Networks division.
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