USA NETWORK TO PREMIERE ACADEMY AWARD(R)-WINNING FILM "IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT" WITH SPECIAL INTRODUCTION BY FILM, TELEVISION AND MUSIC ICON QUINCY JONES
NBCU Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer Builds on Successful
Characters Unite Film Series Advancing National Dialogue on Promoting Tolerance and Acceptance
Special Limited Commercial Presentation of "In The Heat of The Night" Premieres February 15 at 9/8c in Commemoration of Characters Unite Month and Black History Month
NEW YORK - February 10, 2014 -NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer today announced the newest classic in the ongoing Characters Unite Film Series to use the power of storytelling to increase awareness of social injustices, stimulate productive dialogue and encourage further progress. USA Network will commemorate Characters Unite Month and Black History Month by presenting "In the Heat of the Night" with limited commercials on Saturday, February 15 at 9/8c. The film, which was groundbreaking in its powerful portrayal of racism in America and played a role in advancing the civil rights movement, won five Oscars including Best Picture. Film, television and music icon Quincy Jones, who composed the music for the film, will give a special introduction.
"'In the Heat of the Night' is a compelling, brilliantly executed exploration of racial tensions nearly fifty years ago, a critical time in our history," said Ms. Hammer. "That it still resonates today is a sad reminder that though we've come a long way, intolerance and injustice are still very much with us. It's a perfect example of the timeless potential of movies to shine a powerful light on complex social issues."
"It was a privilege to compose the music for 'In the Heat of the Night' and be part of a film that played a role in helping to advance civil rights in our country," said Quincy Jones. "Through this film, and the Characters Unite campaign, we can learn more about our past and re-commit to create a better future in which - as the great Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed - ALL of our children are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Based on the novel of the same name, "In the Heat of the Night" was released in 1967, at a time in our nation's history when the civil rights movement was just beginning to take hold. By telling the story of a white man (Rod Steiger) and a black man (Sidney Poitier) working together to solve a murder investigation in a racially hostile southern town, the film shined a light on widespread racism and the danger of stereotypes. The film featured a soundtrack composed by Quincy Jones.
"In the Heat of the Night" is the fifth film in the successful Characters Unite Film Series, which launched in April 2012 with "To Kill a Mockingbird," featuring an introduction by President Barack Obama. Additional films in the series have included "The Color Purple," with an introduction by the film's Oscar-winning star Whoopi Goldberg, "Milk," with an introduction by Emmy(R) Award-winner and activist Neil Patrick Harris and "Schindler's List," featuring an introduction by the film's director Steven Spielberg, which garnered 3.2 million viewers and more than one million in the key demos in February 2013.
February is USA's most expansive Characters Unite Month to date with special on-air programming, digital content and community events all month featuring a wide array of high-profile musicians, actors, athletes and political leaders who have joined in support of the award-winning public service campaign to combat hate and discrimination. Highlights include a new PSA campaign to promote greater tolerance and acceptance that features Grammy(R)-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and their Grammy-nominated song of the year "Same Love," as well as other notable actors, athletes, musicians and political leaders. Throughout the month, USA and its Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) partners will begin the search for the 2014 Characters Unite Awards winners, unsung heroes who are championing civil and human rights in their communities. In addition, USA is expanding the initiative to reach college students with a bus tour of university campuses across the country.
Visit www.charactersunite.com for more information and to find out what you can do to make a difference.
Characters Unite, USA Network's award-winning public service campaign was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network's iconic "Characters Welcome" brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to combating prejudice, discrimination and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance -- on-air, online and in communities around the country.
The #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented eight straight years, USA Network is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals, spectacular live television and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.