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[06/20/05 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime Kicks Off New Scheduling Strategy to Launch Its Newest Comedy Series

[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime Kicks Off New Scheduling Strategy To Launch Its Newest Comedy Series

�Weeds� And �Barbershop� Will Alternate In The 10:00 Pm Timeslot Every Weeknight Beginning In August

Each Series To Enjoy Various Multi-Plays For Maximum Viewer Choice

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 20, 2005 -- Beginning in August, with the launch of its two new comedy series WEEDS and BARBERSHOP, Showtime Networks will introduce a new multi-play� scheduling strategy that maximizes choice and convenience for its premium subscribers.

Episodes of WEEDS and BARBERSHOP will alternate in the 10:00 PM time period each night of the week, as well as be replayed several additional times to give viewers the ability to tune in at a time that works best for them. And, as always, these and other original programs will be available to Showtime On Demand customers for viewing anytime.

�At 10:00 PM any night of the week you will be able to turn to SHOWTIME for either of our two new single camera comedy series," said Showtime President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt. "As opposed to the way broadcast television and even most basic cable programming is offered to viewers, we are committed to delivering our premium series to our subscribers in a unique way. As a non-advertiser supported premium network, SHOWTIME does not need to drive viewers to one particular night and time slot, so this plan will better satisfy the demands of our customers who tend to live in households with the greatest number of channels available."

WEEDS will multi-play on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 PM, and BARBERSHOP will multi-play on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:00 PM.

WEEDS will enjoy a special �sneak preview� at 11 PM on Sunday, August 7, immediately following the QUEER AS FOLK one-hour series finale to give it maximum sampling. The �official� series debut will be on Monday, August 8 at 10:00 PM, and new episodes will appear on subsequent Mondays at 10pm.

BARBERSHOP will officially debut on Sunday, August 14 at 10:00 PM. New episodes will appear on subsequent Sundays at 10:00 PM.

And on Sundays only, the two new shows will run as a one-hour block with BARBERSHOP episodes at 10:00 PM, followed by WEEDS at 10:30pm. And to offer even more chances to view these shows, WEEDS will replay on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 10:30 PM, and BARBERSHOP will replay on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30 PM.

WEEDS:

M, W, F at 10:00 PM

M, W, F, Su at 10:30 PM

BARBERSHOP:

Su, Tu, Th, Sa at 10:00 PM

Tu, Th, Sa at 10:30 PM

* All times listed here are ET/PT.

WEEDS, a single-camera comedy starring Mary-Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk exposes the dirty little secrets that lie behind the pristine lawns and shiny closed doors of homes in the fictional town of Agrestic, California. Parker stars as a suburban mom who resorts to selling weed to support her family after her husband unexpectedly dies. Perkins stars as the uptight head of the PTA and Nealon plays a city councilman and one of Parker�s regular customers. Parker's character finds unusual support and solace from an African American family as she begins to pursue her burgeoning business. Produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Tilted Productions, WEEDS is executive produced by Emmy� Award winner Jenji Kohan (�Friends�). Brian Dannelly (�Saved!�), who directed the series premiere, is a consulting producer and will direct additional episodes. Roberto Benabib (�Ally McBeal�) is co-executive producer.

BARBERSHOP begins where the MGM movie franchise left off, with most of the same endearing characters and a few new ones added to the shop, set in a gradually gentrifying Chicago neighborhood. The cast of characters is headed by Calvin (Omar Gooding), the soul of this close�knit community who runs the barbershop he inherited from his father. There, with every snip of the scissors, hilarious conversations and heated discussions about the trials and tribulations of everyday life on Chicago�s South Side unfold. And much like the original films, the series delves poignantly and humorously into the everyday lives and issues facing these characters�both in and out of the shop. BARBERSHOP is executive-produced by prolific writer and showrunner John Ridley, along with the feature films production team of Robert Teitel, George Tillman, Jr. (SHOWTIME�s �SOUL FOOD�) and executive producer and star of the original films, Ice Cube. Matt Alvarez also serves as an executive producer of the series.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME�, THE MOVIE CHANNEL� and FLIX�, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME� TOO�, SHOWTIME� SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME�, SHOWTIME BEYOND�, SHOWTIME NEXT�, SHOWTIME WOMEN�, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE� and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD�, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD�, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND� and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND�. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL�, 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� PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.





  [june 2005]  
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M
T
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· ALLY MCBEAL (FOX)
· BARBERSHOP (SHOWTIME)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· SOUL FOOD (SHOWTIME)
· WEEDS (SHOWTIME)





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