[08/01/05 - 12:00 AM]
Matthew Perry Takes the Lead in Inspirational TNT Original Movie the Ron Clark Story, a Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation(R) Movie

[via press release from TNT]

Matthew Perry Takes the Lead in Inspirational TNT Original Movie THE RON CLARK STORY, A JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� Movie

Produced by Granada America and MAGNA Global Entertainment, Follows Dramatic Story of Award-Winning Teacher

Three-time Emmy� nominee Matthew Perry (Friends, The West Wing) has signed on to star in Turner Network Television (TNT)�s original drama THE RON CLARK STORY, the network�s newest production under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� banner, announced Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TNT. Perry is best known for his Emmy�-nominated performance on the long-running comedy series Friends. He also earned an Emmy� nomination for his work in a recurring role on the drama series The West Wing. Perry�s big-screen credits include Fools Rush In, Three to Tango and The Whole Nine Yards. He also co-starred in London�s record-breaking West End revival of David Mamet�s Sexual Perversity in Chicago and recently directed an episode of the comedy series Scrubs. Perry also hosted this year�s ESPY Awards, which received its highest ratings in 13 years.

THE RON CLARK STORY will be produced by Granada America and MAGNA Global Entertainment, with Howard Burkons (John Q), Brenda Friend (Joan of Arc) and Adam Gilad (Take My Advice: The Ann and Abby Story) serving as executive producers, along with Paul Jackson (Hell�s Kitchen, Nanny 911) and Jody Brockway (Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story) of Granada. Craig McNeil (TNT�s Second Nature) of Granada serves as producer. THE RON CLARK STORY, written by Max Enscoe and Annie DeYoung (Wuthering Heights), is set to begin production this fall for premiere early next year on TNT.

"THE RON CLARK STORY is the true story of one teacher�s courage to leave his small hometown and head to one of the most challenging public schools in the country," said Wright. "We are proud to have an actor the caliber of Matthew Perry bringing his talents to such a memorable, inspirational story."

"THE RON CLARK STORY is the perfect kind of moving, human story we seek to bring through the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series," said Andrea Alstrup, corporate vice president, advertising,, Johnson & Johnson. "This movie will engage both the viewers� hearts and minds by letting them see the difference one person can make in the lives of so many."

Inspired to leave his small North Carolina hometown to teach in one of New York City�s worst public schools, Disney�s 2000 Teacher of the Year, Ron Clark, uses his enthusiasm, creativity and passion to reach his toughest students. THE RON CLARK STORY is the true account of this innovative teacher, who strives to tap into his students� potential, talents and abilities, gaining their respect and ultimately raising their test scores to the highest level in the school. Clark went on to win Teacher of the Year, was featured in Oprah�s O magazine and has written very successful books on education and child rearing.

THE RON CLARK STORY is the eighth TNT Original to be produced under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� banner. The critically acclaimed, award-winning Door to Door, starring Emmy�-winner William H. Macy as a successful door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy, kicked off the series of movies in July 2002. It was followed by Miss Lettie and Me, starring Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds, in December 2002; Wilder Days, starring Peter Falk and Tim Daly, in October 2003; The Winning Season, with Matthew Modine and Kristin Davis, in April 2004; the Emmy�-nominated The Wool Cap, which re-teamed Door To Door�s Emmy�-winning actor/writer William H. Macy and writer/director Steven Schachter, in November 2004; and 14 Hours, with JoBeth Williams, Rick Schroder and Kris Kristofferson, in April 2005. Currently in production is The Engagement Ring, a romantic comedy/drama starring Patricia Heaton, set to premiere on TNT later this year.

The JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series development effort was initiated by Interpublic�s MAGNA Global Entertainment. Johnson & Johnson has long supported the creation of quality programming, and through the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series, the company�s advertising affiliate has collaborated with TNT to bring inspirational stories to the American viewing public.

MAGNA Global Entertainment (MGE) is a division of Interpublic�s MAGNA Global USA, which represents more than $29 billion in aggregated Interpublic worldwide media billings. MGE is an industry leader in advertiser-supplied programming. MGE has produced 74 hours of original programming and more than 316 hours of total television viewing on seven networks for 19 clients. Notable successes include Blow Out on Bravo, now in its second season, and the critically acclaimed hit series The Restaurant on NBC.

Granada America is the U.S.-based television program development and production division of ITV Plc�s Granada Productions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it acquires, develops and produces scripted and non-scripted series as well as movies for television for the U.S. networks and the international market. Granada America is also a leading producer of reality programming and scripted drama, with shows in production or in development at many of the major broadcast and cable networks. Its current slate includes Hell�s Kitchen and Nanny 911 for FOX, Airline for A&E, American Princess for NBC, Room Raiders for MTV, House of Dreams for A&E. Its scripted drama slate includes Touching Evil for USA Network, and in development at Showtime is Soldier Soldier, with John Sacret Young attached to write and direct.

Turner Network Television (TNT), television�s destination for drama and one of cable�s top-rated networks, offers original movies and limited series, including Into the West, an epic six-week television event from DreamWorks Television and master storyteller and executive producer Steven Spielberg; original recurring series, including the detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, and the crime thriller Wanted, with Gary Cole; powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed, Judging Amy and Angel; broadcast premiere movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.

*JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION is a registered service mark of Johnson & Johnson.

  [august 2005]  

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