ION Television Reports Strong Initial Results for RHI Programming
Saturday Night Household Impressions Increase 55 Percent; Key Demos Tuning in For Popular, Well Known Titles
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Television, ION Media Networks' (AMEX:ION) flagship TV network reaching over 90 million homes, announced that average weekend viewership is showing substantial increases with the debut of content from RHI Entertainment, the global leader in the production and distribution of groundbreaking movies, miniseries and series for television. Since the start of RHI Movie Weekend, which began the weekend of June 29th, Saturday night household impressions have experienced a 55 percent increase over season-to-date figures.
ION Television's consecutive Saturday night showings of the newly digitally re-mastered, Emmy� award winning miniseries Lonesome Dove, which stars Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane, Ricky Schroder, Chris Cooper, and Anjelica Huston, is the highest rated television movie this season in its 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. time period. Other highlights for the Saturday night movies include:
Compared with season-to-date figures, Lonesome Dove's airings have increased delivery in women ages 25-54 by 34 percent.
Between the first and second early Saturday movie, the women 25-54 category increased 50 percent.
Overall, ION's Saturday 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. time period saw a 32 percent climb in household impressions versus season-to-date numbers.
Sunday movie specials also showed a dramatic increase of 54 percent amongst the women 25-54 year-old demographic. Additional results of interest are:
The Sunday, July 8th movie special, Journey to the Center of the Earth, a four-hour retelling of the classic Jules Verne tale, starring Treat Williams, reached 868,000 viewers and delivered 382,000 impressions in the adult 25-54 category.
Journey to the Center of the Earth further improved delivery in the 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. time period with an additional 57 percent in household impressions above the previous week.
Of the aforementioned week-to-week viewers, Sunday movies did notably well in the adult 35-64 demographic, nearly doubling their previous results.
"ION Television has seen significant increases in viewership since the introduction of RHI's content," said Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. "RHI programming makes for great TV viewing for the entire family, and we look forward to premiering the first new RHI original movie Killer Wave on ION Television in August."
"We very much value our partnership with ION and look forward to also providing original movies and miniseries that will be developed exclusively for premiere network broadcast on ION Television," said Robert Halmi, Jr., President and CEO of RHI Entertainment. "This is just the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship."
Killer Wave, an action-disaster miniseries starring Tom Skerritt, is the first of 12 original productions from RHI. The four-hour miniseries, which will debut on ION in its entirety on August 5th, features Angus Macfayden (Braveheart, Alias, Saw 3), Steven McHattie (A History of Violence, Seinfeld) and Karine Vanasse (Head in the Clouds, Set Me Free).
Select Upcoming ION Television RHI Programming Highlights:
The third RHI weekend programming installment is highlighted by unforgettable performances from Anthony Edwards, Eric Roberts and Sam Neill in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, slated to air Sunday, July 15th, 7:00 � 11:00 p.m. The critically-hailed program is based on Capote's famous true-crime saga about the murder of a Kansas farm family.
August program highlights include Patrick Stewart in Moby Dick (Sunday, August 12th, 7:00 � 11:00 p.m.), and the "prequel" to Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk (August 18th, 25th and September 1st, 9:00 � 11:00 p.m.), starring David Arquette as Gus McCrae, Jonny Lee Miller as Woodrow Call, and a brilliant supporting cast that includes Academy Award� winner F. Murray Abraham, Keith Carradine, Brain Dennehy, Edward James Olmos and Harry Dean Stanton.
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, reaching over 90 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. ION Television currently features popular television series and movies from the award-winning libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television, CBS Television and NBC Universal. In addition, the network has partnered with RHI Entertainment, which owns over 4,000 hours of acclaimed television content, to provide high-quality primetime programming beginning July 2007. Utilizing its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched several new digital TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with Scholastic, Corus Entertainment, Classic Media and NBC Universal, as well as ION Life, a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families. For more information, please visit www.ionmedia.tv.
About RHI Entertainment
RHI Entertainment, LLC, is the global leader in the production and distribution of groundbreaking miniseries and movies for television. Since the company's inception, under the guidance of Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., RHI has produced and distributed over 4,000 hours of quality television programming, received more than 100 Emmy� Awards, and outperformed the competition annually in viewer ratings. Currently, RHI provides 40-60 new television movies and miniseries a year to networks worldwide.