[09/22/04 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime Launches International Television Sales with 'Fat Actress'

[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime Launches International Television Sales With 'FAT ACTRESS'

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 -- Showtime Networks Inc. will be attending MIPCOM 2004 with Tony Lynn, Sr. Vice President, Program Distribution, bringing to market the most talked-about, new comedy series FAT ACTRESS, starring two-time Emmy(R)-winner Kirstie Alley. Created by Brenda Hampton and Kirstie Alley, FAT ACTRESS is a seven-episode, half-hour hybrid comedy/reality series that was inspired by Alley's real life. Tom Bull serves as supervising producer.

"Kirstie Alley has starred in two sitcoms, CHEERS and VERONICA'S CLOSET, that were both extremely popular in international television markets. She is a popular personality, well-known for her quick and acerbic wit. I think FAT ACTRESS will be a breakaway hit for Showtime and our international clients," said Lynn.

Taking her life experiences and recreating them in the extreme, Alley plays a fictional version of herself -- a successful television and movie star whose weight gain has become the subject of every tabloid imaginable as well as the bane of her existence as she tries to find work and true love in an unforgiving Hollywood. This irreverent series, which will be co-created and executive produced by Alley and Brenda Hampton ("Seventh Heaven"), will be unscripted, with each episode emanating from a story outline and the actors largely improvising the dialogue. FAT ACTRESS will begin production September 20 in Los Angeles and will premiere March 6, 2005. Sandy Chanley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") also executive produces through her production company, Production Partners, Inc.

Bravely willing to lampoon her image that has been mercilessly ridiculed by the tabloids over the past few years, Alley will give us a glimpse of the humor and the irony in her battle to lose weight and get back on television in a tough business that prefers the once-svelte version of the Emmy(R) Award- winning star of "Cheers." Stories will be drawn from a heightened perception of her real-life experiences, and some of Alley's friends have promised to appear as themselves in guest cameos to further blur the lines between truth and fiction. Anyone struggling with issues about weight or self-esteem -- or just looking for love and happiness -- will identify with Alley's life.

Brenda Hampton, co-creator of the series, created and currently executive produces "Seventh Heaven," the smash hit drama that has been running for eight years on The WB. While known primarily for this family drama, Hampton has actually spent most of her career writing and producing several successful sitcoms such as "Mad About You," "The John Larroquette Show" and "Blossom."

Kirstie Alley became a household name playing "Rebecca Howe" on the hit television series "Cheers" for which she won both a Golden Globe(R) and an Emmy(R) Award. Her flair for comedy translated to the big screen in movies like Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," "Look Who's Talking" and "Look Who's Talking Too." In 1997, Alley returned to television to produce and star in the sitcom "Veronica's Closet," which ran for three seasons.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns 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(R), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), which is a venture between NBC Universal, Robert Redford, and Showtime Networks Inc. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

SOURCE Showtime Networks Inc.
Web Site: http://www.SHO.com

  [september 2004]  


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