'ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS' BECOMES A REALITY IN 'DEAR SANTA,' A NEW HOLIDAY SPECIAL TO PREMIERE ON FOX DECEMBER 9
Lions Gate Television and Full Circle Entertainment Team Up with U.S. Postal Service to Produce the Unscripted One-Hour Show Addressing the Dreams of 'Dear Santa' Letter Writers
Los Angeles, CA, October 31, 2005 � FOX, Lions Gate Television and Full Circle Entertainment, in cooperation with the United States Postal Service, have struck a deal for an hour-long unscripted holiday special, entitled Dear Santa, to premiere on FOX December 9 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The announcement was made today by Ed Wilson, President Fox Television Network; Kevin Beggs, President, Programming and Production, Lions Gate Television; Robert Riesenberg, President and CEO of Full Circle Entertainment; and John E. Potter, Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service.
The reality show will be based on a selection of the most compelling letters the U.S. Postal Service receives from children and families asking for Santa's help. The dramatic stories of these families will be told as their holiday dreams are fulfilled.
Distributed by Lions Gate Television and produced in association with Full Circle Entertainment, Renegade 83, Inc. and Mann Made Productions, Inc., Dear Santa was created by Darren Mann and will be executive produced by Mann, Riesenberg, and Renegade 83 partners David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe (The Law Firm, The 4400, The Surreal Life, Blind Date).
An album is also being produced in conjunction with the special, which will include both original Christmas songs and four of the top ten most-played Christmas classics of all time. Alicia Keys, Nick Lachey and American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon are among the stars featured on the CD, along with Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song," Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" and Johnny Mathis' "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." The CD will be on sale at more than 20,000 post offices across the country.
The U.S. Postal Service will be promoting the special with point-of-purchase displays in most of its 38,000 post offices; on its website at www.usps.com; and as part of a 40-city tour with Vonzell Solomon, who was an employee of the Postal Service prior to her run on American Idol.
"FOX is very excited to be working with Lions Gate Television, Full Circle Entertainment and the U.S. Postal Service on a special that sends such a positive message to our viewers and that every family can relate to," said Wilson.
"When Darren approached us about working with the U.S Postal Service on a holiday reality special, we jumped at the opportunity," said Beggs. "The concept has tremendous evergreen potential, the marketing campaign will be extraordinary and we are excited to be part of what could become a new holiday entertainment tradition."
"We have always sought to be involved with projects that strike a distinctive emotional cord with audiences," said Riesenberg. "Dear Santa is a heartwarming vehicle that will positively touch hearts across the demographic universe and will provide a perfect sponsorship vehicle."
"Through the power of the mail, the U.S. Postal Service has proudly connected families, friends, and loved ones during the holiday season," said Potter. "Every year thousands of postal employees, charitable organizations, corporations and individuals participate in making children's holiday wishes come true by answering the letters to Santa that we receive. We were happy to work on this production and hope it encourages others to visit their local post offices to do the same."
About Lions Gate Television
Lions Gate Television is the television production and distribution arm of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF). With a total of four series currently on the air, the company is an important supplier of content to cable and broadcast networks. Lions Gate Entertainment is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is a valuable source of stable and recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the continued growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lions Gate brand name is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Full Circle Entertainment
Full Circle Entertainment was launched with the hiring of Mr. Riesenberg in February 2004 to develop and produce quality programming that has strong viewer appeal, while providing an ideal environment and marketing platforms for major sponsors. The company's production team is best known for executive producing numerous television series and movies including "The Restaurant," "House Rules," "Meet Mister Mom," "Young Americans," "He's a Lady," "The Winning Season," "Miss Lettie and Me," "Bojangles" as well as creating the highly-regarded movie franchises, Chrysler Showcase Theater, and Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation. Full Circle Entertainment is part of Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE), which also includes media agencies OMD Worldwide and the PHD Network, as well as ICON International, Novus Print Media and DaVinci Selectwork.
Omnicom Group Inc. is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded agency networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.
About the United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service has proudly connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses via the U.S. Mail for well over two centuries. Delivering to over 144 million addresses every day, it is the largest independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government, but receives no taxpayer dollars; is required to operate like a business, but can make no profit and must break even over time; and, derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $68 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mail and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 43 percent of the world's mail volume�over 200 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year and serving seven million customers each day at its 38,000 retail locations nationwide.