"7TH HEAVEN," "CHEERS" AND "I LOVE LUCY" FIND A NEW HOME ON HALLMARK CHANNEL
Acquisition Deal with CBS Television Distribution Includes Additional Episodes of "Matlock" and "Touched By An Angel"
Hallmark Channel has just completed a major deal to acquire several award- winning series, including the critically acclaimed "7th Heaven," the ever popular "Cheers" and classic baby boomer favorite, "I Love Lucy," along with additional episodes of "Matlock" and "Touched By An Angel" from CBS Television Distribution.
"These acquisitions are part of our strategy of moving forward with the most appealing off-net series available to our audience, regardless of strikes or other interruptions. All three beloved programs are, of course, the perfect complement to our other, boomer-friendly series such as M*A*S*H, �Little House on the Prairie' and �Murder, She Wrote,'" said Michelle Vicary, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Scheduling/Programming.
"7th Heaven" is the first show that will be ready to launch on Hallmark Channel in January of 2008 with "Cheers" having the next window later in 2008 and "I Love Lucy" in January of 2009.
"7th Heaven," the critically acclaimed family drama about a minister (Stephen Collins), his wife (Catherine Hicks) and their seven children, captured the hearts of television audiences with its witty, charming and heartwarming storytelling and has been praised for providing high-quality entertainment for all ages. At 11 seasons, it was the longest-running family drama in the history of American television. The series has received honors from organizations such as the Parents Television Council, Family Friendly Forum Awards, Teen Choice Awards and TV Guide Awards.
"Cheers," the top-rated, 28-time Emmy Award�-winning half-hour comedy series centering on the colorful characters who frequent a Boston bar owned by a former Red Sox pitcher, stars Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger, Woody Harrelson and Bebe Neuwirth.
"I Love Lucy," a time-honored comedy classic with almost 200 episodes produced, set the standard for TV sitcoms. Lucy Ricardo is a scatterbrained housewife whose husband, Ricky, is a bandleader at a nightclub. Lucy and Ricky's best friends are landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz who often become unwitting participants in Lucy's get-rich-quick and other wild schemes. From sneaking into Ricky's shows to hiding household indiscretions, Lucy's antics have held audiences' attention for decades and have made her one of TV's most beloved characters. It stars Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance.
"Matlock," a classic legal drama starring Andy Griffith, has been on the Hallmark Channel schedule for over 4 years and averages a 1.0 HH rating as part of the prime time Sunday line-up. "Touched By An Angel," an inspiring drama starring Roma Downey, Della Reese, John Dye and Valerie Bertinelli, will return to the schedule in 2008.
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of nearly 85 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,300 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel consistently ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks in Prime Time and Total Day household ratings and is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, and will launch Hallmark Movie Channel HD in first quarter 2008.