ION Television Injects "ER" into Primetime Lineup with All-Star Marathon Kickoff
Groundbreaking Award-Winning Drama Raises Pulse of Network
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Television announced today that it will launch the highly-acclaimed, hit series, "ER," on its primetime schedule June 9th with a four-day marathon of back-to-back episodes featuring guest stars who have either won or been nominated for Emmy Awards. The network will showcase television's longest-running medical drama, which has earned more Primetime Emmy Award nominations than any other program in history, with three episodes from 8 p.m. � 11 p.m. on June 9th, 10th and 11th, and two episodes from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 12th. "ER" will then air in its regular timeslot Monday through Wednesday, 10 p.m. � 11 p.m. (ET), beginning June 16th. Also joining ION Television's primetime schedule with a special sneak preview on June 12th at 10 p.m. will be "The Dead Zone."
"The four-day 'ER' marathon of these memorable, hand-picked episodes ushers in an all-time fan favorite for ION Television viewers," said Brandon Burgess, Chairman and CEO, ION Media Networks. "This intense series, with its star-studded cast and high-profile guest stars, takes us to the next level of becoming a positively entertaining television network."
Combining the extraordinary talents of multi award-winning producer John Wells, best-selling author Michael Crichton and renowned director Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, the venerated series explores the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital and the critical issues faced by the dedicated physicians and staff of its overburdened emergency room. The episodes airing during the ION Television marathon feature Emmy-winners Chad Lowe, Cynthia Nixon, Armand Assante, Danny Glover and Sally Field, plus Emmy-nominees Louise Fletcher, Stacy Keach and John Mahoney. Also spotlighted are Ray Liotta, who won an Emmy for his "ER" appearance, and Red Buttons and James Woods, who both were nominated for their respective performances.
On May 1st, ION announced a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to air seasons 11-14 of the groundbreaking series. Having recently completed its 14th season, "ER" continues to earn some of the highest ratings among TV dramas. In addition to winning 22 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series in 1996, and 120 Emmy Award nominations�the most in television history�the show has also earned the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series.
Joining "ER" on ION Television's primetime schedule this summer is "The Dead Zone," originally produced by Lions Gate Television and CBS Paramount Television for the USA Network. Based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, "The Dead Zone" stars Anthony Michael Hall as a teacher who awakens from a coma to find he has extrasensory abilities and can use them to help others. The psychological thriller premieres Thursday, June 12th at 10 p.m. � 11 p.m. (ET). It will air directly before "ER," Monday through Wednesday, 9 p.m. � 10 p.m. (ET) beginning June 16th.
"The debuts of these two popular and highly-acclaimed series highlight ION Television's commitment to contemporary, quality programming that will appeal to a wide audience," added Mr. Burgess.
The network is pushing forward with its long-term strategy to meet the entertainment needs of the adult 25-54 demographic with a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies, specials and sports. "ER" and "The Dead Zone" join recent acquisitions, including "Boston Legal," coming to ION off-network later this year, as well as "The Steve Harvey Show," "Family Feud" and "Quantum Leap," currently airing in ION Television's expanded entertainment schedule.
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, which reaches over 94 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems, and features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of RHI Entertainment, CBS Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others. Using its digital multicasting capability, the Company has launched several digital TV brands, including qubo, a channel for children focusing on literacy and values, and ION Life, a channel dedicated to active living and personal growth. It also has launched Open Mobile Ventures Corporation (OMVION), a business unit focused on the research and development of portable, mobile and out-of-home transmission technology using over-the-air digital television spectrum. For more information, visit www.ionmedia.com.