[12/18/07 - 10:46 AM]
Showtime Networks Acquires British Hit Series Secret Diary of a Call Girl
The pay channel will air the first season's 8 half-hour episodes beginning in spring or summer 2008, with a commitment for an additional 12 episodes.

[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime Networks Acquires British Hit Series Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Series is an IMG/Tiger Aspect/Silverapples Media/ARG Production

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 -- Showtime Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt announced today the network will premiere a provocative half-hour comedy series, SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL. Taken from best selling, real life diaries, this eye-opening insight into the life of a high-end call girl leading a double life became an immediate ratings winner in the United Kingdom. SHOWTIME will air the first season's 8 half-hour episodes beginning in Spring or Summer 2008, with a commitment for an additional 12 episodes.

One of the UK's leading young actresses Billie Piper takes on the challenging lead role. To her friends and family she is Hannah, a legal secretary clocking in regular hours and enjoying a "normal" life. To her clients, she is Belle, the answer to all of their fantasies. Her challenge is to keep her two lives separate. Inevitably they begin to blur.

The real Belle (whom the charismatic Piper met and worked closely with pre-and during production) published her diaries in 2005 and, despite many attempts to discover her true identity, remains anonymous.

"When Chris Albrecht called me to take a look at this show we were intrigued," said Greenblatt. "Initially we thought we should make an American version of it, but we fell in love with the original episodes, were captivated by Billie Piper's Belle, and decided to bring it to SHOWTIME as is. American audiences will be transfixed by the series poignant, sexy, comedy meets drama elements and the series' will fit in perfectly with our line-up of original programming. It is also a pleasure to be back in business with my old friend Chris."

"We are delighted to be partnering with Showtime to bring this highly successful and provocative series to a U.S. audience," said Chris Albrecht, head of global media for IMG. "We are particularly proud of the role that Tiger Aspect Productions, an IMG-owned production company, has played in the production of this show, now entering its second season of production in the U.K."

The "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" series is Belle's frank account of her experiences -- at times shocking and risque and sometimes simply hilarious -- brought to life by Piper and a colorful and talented supporting cast. Each episode allows the audience an illuminating glimpse behind the scenes of the high-class sex trade, generating much debate and discussion. The dynamic drama explores the life of a heroine who struggles with personal and moral issues-with some rather naughty adventures along the way. The series premiered in Fall 2007 on British digital channel ITV2, with more than 2 million viewers on hand for the opening episode.

SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL is an IMG/Tiger Aspect/Silverapples Media/ ARG production.

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(TM), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(TM) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. In addition, SNI manages and is the principal owner of Smithsonian Networks(TM), a venture with the Smithsonian Institution, which was formed to create networks showcasing scientific, cultural and historical programming. SNI is also the principal owner of On Broadband Networks LLC, a broadband game service provider, and OurChart.com LLC, provider of OurChart.com(TM), a social networking website featuring elements from the SHOWTIME hit series "The L Word(R)". SNI also markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV and is an equity investor in ProElite Inc., a Mixed Martial Arts event promotion company

About IMG

IMG is the world's premier sports, entertainment and media enterprise.

IMG's media and entertainment operations include content production subsidiaries Darlow Smithson Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions and Tigress. Globally, IMG produces and distributes more than 11,000 hours of sports, documentary, drama, comedy, entertainment, popular factual and children's content annually. IMG also represents the broadcast rights to many of the world's premier sporting events and has the world's largest sports archive with more than 250,000 hours of footage.

Forstmann Little & Co. purchased IMG in 2004.

About Tiger Aspect Productions

Tiger Aspect Productions, an IMG Media company, is internationally recognised as one of the UK's most successful and prolific independent television producers. The company portfolio includes animation, comedy, drama, entertainment and factual genres. Tiger creates a wide range of critically acclaimed and award-winning programming for all the UK's major terrestrial and non-terrestrial broadcasters.

About Silverapples Media

Silverapples Media optioned the original Belle de Jour blog and book and brought the project to Tiger Aspect. Silverapples specializes in Feature Documentaries -- (the award-winning Shadowing, The Third Man, Forever Ealing), Music, (Celtic Woman, Frankenstein, Series for PBS) and is now working in Feature Film and developing further drama projects.

About ARG Limited

ARG Limited, a member of the All3Media Group, is a leading talent agency which in recent years has produced for ITV The Crooked Man starring Ross Kemp and Ahead of the Class starring Julie Walters.

SOURCE Showtime

  [december 2007]  


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