ABC BECOMES THE FIRST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE BROADCAST NETWORK TO OFFER ITS ENTIRE PRIMETIME ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP IN SPANISH THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CLOSED-CAPTIONING AND DUBBING
AMBITIOUS INITIATIVE TO LAUNCH WITH THE OFFICIAL START OF THE NEW TV SEASON ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
"Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" -- Two of the Top Three New Shows of Last Season - Plus Eponymously-titled Sitcoms "George Lopez" and "Freddie," Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Will be Dubbed into Spanish
Starting September 19, 2005, ABC will become the first English-language broadcast network to provide all primetime entertainment programming in Spanish via a combination of closed-captioning and dubbing, it was announced today by Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment.
"Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" -- two of the top three new shows of last season - plus eponymously-titled sitcoms "George Lopez" (which has been available with Spanish dubbing since its debut in 2001) and new fall comedy "Freddie," starring Freddie Prinze Jr., will be dubbed into Spanish, with the remainder of the network's primetime entertainment lineup available with Spanish-language subtitles. In addition, the network's fall theatrical premieres and select specials will also be dubbed into Spanish.
"We wanted to move beyond toe-dipping and really dive in," said Mr. McPherson. "Almost half of the 41 million Hispanics in this country watch only or mostly Spanish language television, and we want to bring that audience to ABC."
This initiative also includes the network's longform programming. The original telefilm, "Have No Fear: the Life of John Paul II" will be dubbed into Spanish. In this dramatization, starring Thomas Kretschmann ("The Pianist," "King Kong"), viewers will see, for the first time, not only the spiritual leader's remarkable public life on the world stage, but also the very intimate moments that epitomized his great humanity -- his passions, regrets, frustrations, triumphs and sorrows.
Spanish subtitled versions of the shows will be found on Closed Caption 3 channel (CC3), and viewers will be able to access the programs dubbed in Spanish via the SAP (Second Audio Program) option on their televisions. ABC is the first English language broadcast network to make such a large portion of its programming available in Spanish.
Casting is currently underway for the "voices" to take on such acclaimed roles as Bree on "Desperate Housewives" and Sawyer on "Lost."
ABC's major theatricals have previously been available in Spanish via SAP, and that tradition will continue with this fall's lineup of network premieres, including "Catch Me if You Can," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Finding Nemo," "Bringing Down the House" and "Old School." Returning theatricals "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Monsters, Inc." and "The Santa Clause" will also be available in Spanish via SAP.
For the first time, the classic Peanuts specials "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,"
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will also be offered in Spanish via SAP.
Eighty-six percent (86%) of U.S. households have televisions with SAP capability, while most stereo televisions and VCRs manufactured from1995 on are equipped with SAP options.
Additional programming may be dubbed in Spanish as this initiative continues.