[09/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
Emmy(R) Award Winner John Leguizamo to Star in Spike TV's Gripping New Original Scripted Eight-Hour Drama Event, 'The Kill Pit'

[via press release from Spike TV]

Emmy(R) Award Winner John Leguizamo to Star in Spike TV's Gripping New Original Scripted Eight-Hour Drama Event, 'The Kill Pit'

Lionsgate and Mandeville to Produce Event for Summer 2007 Premiere

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12 -- Spike TV has announced a fast-paced, thrilling new original scripted eight-hour drama event, "The Kill Pit," starring Emmy(R) Award-winning actor John Leguizamo. Produced by Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, in association with Mandeville, the drama follows a bank heist that goes terribly awry and the hostage negotiations that ensue. "The Kill Pit" goes into production during the first quarter of next year for a summer 2007 premiere.

Written by James DeMonaco ("The Negotiator," "Assault on Precinct 13") and executive produced by David Hoberman ("Monk") and Todd Lieberman ("Eight Below," "Bringing Down the House") of Mandeville and DeMonaco, "The Kill Pit" revolves around a midtown bank robbery by a team of American Iraqi-War veterans led by Leguizamo. More than a dozen hostages from all walks of life are taken, ranging from the daughter of a business tycoon to an adulterous couple.

"It's a great cat and mouse game with lots of action and suspense and will surely resonate with our guy audience," said Pancho Mansfield, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Spike TV. "John Leguizamo is the ideal actor to bring edginess and intensity to the lead role."

"We were immediately drawn to this project by the caliber of the writing and the creative team involved," said Kevin Beggs, President of Programming and Production, Lionsgate. "We're excited to be working with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, James DeMonaco and John Leguizamo and forging a new relationship with Spike TV on our first production for the network."

Throughout the eight-hour event, viewers will follow the escalating action as the volatile soldiers plot their way out, the negotiator anticipates their moves and the hostages desperately try to survive. Time is critical and the game intensifies with surprising twists at every turn.

An acclaimed stage and screen star, John Leguizamo received an Emmy(R) Award for the Spike Lee-directed presentation of his Tony-nominated Broadway solo show, "Freak," for HBO. His numerous other accolades include a Golden Globe nomination for his comic turn in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar," and a SAG Award nomination for his work in Baz Luhrmann's Academy Award-nominated "Moulin Rouge." Leguizamo's other credits include "Carlito's Way" for director Brian De Palma, Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo & Juliet," "Empire," Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam," "Undefeated," which he also directed, and the animated hit "Ice Age" and its sequel. The actor was recently seen in a recurring role on the hit series "ER."

Bill McGoldrick is Spike TV's Executive in Charge of Production.

Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, winning this year's Best Picture Academy Award(R) for Crash, generating two consecutive years of $300 million-plus domestic theatrical box office, operating a $500 million-plus home entertainment business and producing a broad slate of prime time television series for fiscal 2007. It is a premier producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library of more than 7,800 titles is a valuable source of stable, recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

Spike TV is available in 90 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.


  [september 2006]  

· ER (NBC)

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