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[12/06/06 - 11:11 AM]
TNT Presents Network Television Premiere of the Oscar(R)-Winning Epic Fantasy the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The entire trilogy will also be presented from beginning to end starting Sunday, December 17 at 12:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

[via press release from TNT]

TNT Presents Network Television Premiere of the Oscar�-Winning Epic Fantasy THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

Final Installment in J.R.R. Tolkien Trilogy Airs Friday, Dec. 15;

Saturday, Dec. 16; and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)

Viewers Can Catch THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Friday, Dec. 9, and THE TWO TOWERS Saturday Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)

Entire Trilogy To Be Presented From Beginning To End Sunday, Dec. Dec. 17, Beginning at 12:30 p.m. (ET/PT)

Trilogy Also Available in High-Def on TNT in HD and through VOD

New Line Cinema�s 11-time Oscar�-winning THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, the third installment of J.R.R. Tolkien�s epic fantasy trilogy, makes its network television premiere on TNT in a special weekend of telecasts: Friday, Dec. 15; Saturday, Dec. 16; and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Oscar� winner Peter Jackson directed the film, which stars Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Sir Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Liv Tyler, Miranda Otto, Bernard Hill, David Wenham and Andy Serkis. THE RETURN OF THE KING will also be presented in high-definition on TNT in HD and through VOD.

To build up to TNT�s premiere of THE RETURN OF THE KING, the network is offering special encores of the first two films in the trilogy the prior weekend. The first film, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, will air Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), while the second film, THE TWO TOWERS, will run Saturday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Viewers will then have a perfect opportunity to catch the entire trilogy from start to finish Sunday, Dec. 17, beginning at 12:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Fans can catch THE RETURN OF THE KING on VOD in HD or standard-definition beginning Dec. 24. The first two films will also be offered in both formats through VOD, beginning Dec. 18 on Comcast cable systems and Dec. 20 on Time Warner cable systems.

�We are very proud to offer not only the network television premiere of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, one of the most honored movies in history, but also to be able to pair it with the first two films in a full day of this epic fantasy-adventure,� said Ken Schwab, senior vice president of programming for TNT and TBS. �Offering the movie in high-definition will also ensure that fans with HDTV sets will be able to see it in the sharpest image possible, making for an eye-opening movie experience.�

THE RETURN OF THE KING concludes the epic quest by two young hobbits to destroy the One Ring sought by the dark lord Sauron, who hopes to use its power to dominate all the races of Middle Earth. Wood plays young Frodo Baggins, who must take it to Mount Doom, deep in the lands of Mordor, to destroy it. Helping him in his daunting quest is his gardener Sam (Astin) and Gollum (Serkis), a former owner of the ring who continues to be haunted by its power. The film also continues to the story of Frodo�s cousins Merry (Monaghan) and Pippin (Boyd), as they assist the wizard Gandalf (McKellan) and the kingly heir Aragorn (Mortensen) in their bid to hold Sauron�s forces at bay while Frodo and Sam struggle to complete their task.

The following are some interesting facts about THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy:

� The entire LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was shot on-location in director Peter Jackson�s home country of New Zealand.

� Originally, Jackson planned to make the trilogy into two films instead of three. But when he presented the idea to New Line, the studio heads said that the story could only be told properly in three films.

� All three movies in the trilogy were shot simultaneously during a record shoot that lasted 274 days.

� The vegetation on many of the outdoor sets was planted a full year before shooting began to ensure it would have the proper aged look.

� A computer program named Massive allowed the filmmakers to depict large armies of computer-simulated orcs, elves and humans to move and fight each other independently.

� The maps used in the trilogy are replicas of the maps Tolkien drew for his books.

� Most of the chapter titles in the books are used as lines in the movie.

� Peter Jackson can be glimpsed in various cameo roles in all three films, as can his two children.

� The elvish languages used in the movie are based on the limited dictionary Tolkien created for that language.

� THE RETURN OF THE KING took home 11 competitive Oscars�, tying a record held by only two other films: Ben-Hur and Titanic.

� Although all three films in the trilogy received Best Picture nominations, it wasn�t until the third installment that the trilogy actually took home the top prize. Overall, THE LORD OF THE RINGS earned 17 Oscars� for its three films.

� All three films in the trilogy were tremendous hits at the box office, earning more than $1 billion collectively in the United States alone.

Turner Network Television (TNT), a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television�s destination for drama and one of cable�s top-rated networks. It offers original movies and series, including the blockbuster detective series The Closer, starring Emmy�, Golden Globe� and Screen Actors Guild Awards� nominee Kyra Sedgwick, and next year�s eagerly anticipated television event The Company, executive-produced by Ridley Scott and starring Chris O�Donnell, Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Without a Trace, Law & Order, Las Vegas, Cold Case, ER, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.

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





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