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[02/09/09 - 07:56 AM]
USA Network Licenses Universal Pictures' 2009 Film Slate in Groundbreaking Deal
The deal is considered to be one of the largest of its kind between a film studio and basic cable network.

[via press release from USA]

USA NETWORK LICENSES UNIVERSAL PICTURES' 2009 FILM SLATE IN GROUNDBREAKING DEAL

Featuring Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Russell Crowe, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep, Will Ferrell, Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, Benicio Del Toro

NEW YORK, NEW YORK � February 9, 2009 � In a groundbreaking deal, USA Network has acquired the exclusive network television premiere rights to the 2009 Universal Pictures' film slate, it was announced today by Jane Blaney, executive vice president, programming, acquisitions & scheduling, USA Network and Frances Manfredi, executive vice president/general sales manager, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.

The deal is considered to be one of the largest of its kind between a film studio and basic cable network. The package includes Universal's biggest tentpole movies for 2009 with some of the most commercially viable film properties attached to the slate.

"This deal is the most ambitious movie acquisition to date for USA," said Blaney. "To partner with Universal makes it a win-win across NBCU platforms, while complementing USA's brand strategy with an A-list talent roster with a proven track record on the network, including Adam Sandler, Matt Damon and Johnny Depp."

"USA Network clearly understands the significance of a strong theatrical lineup on its overall network performance," says Manfredi. "We applaud USA for its vision and aggressive film acquisition strategy. This year's Universal Pictures' slate features many amazing projects with some of the most prominent actors and directors in the business."

"I am extremely pleased that we will be working with USA to bring Universal's 2009 films to viewers across the country," said Rick Finkelstein, vice chairman, Universal Pictures and executive vice president, Universal Studios. "The deal announced today is a testament to the continued success we've had at the box office in the last few years and the 2009 slate will offer something for everyone."

In the deal, USA Network will receive two dozen of the studios' films, most of which are slated for the 2009 calendar year, including such titles as "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, "Fast & Furious" with Vin Diesel, "State of Play" with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, "Land of the Lost" with Will Ferrell, "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp, "Funny People" with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, "Couples Retreat" with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, "The Wolfman" with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, "Green Zone" (working title) with Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear and the upcoming untitled Nancy Meyers film with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Other titles include, "Atonement" with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, "Away We Go" with John Krasinski and Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Boat That Rocked" with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emma Thompson, "Cirque du Freak" with Salma Hayek and Jane Krakowski, Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell," "Flash of Genius" with Greg Kinnear, "Frost/Nixon" with Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, "The Limits of Control" with Bill Murray and John Hurt, "Milk" with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin, Ethan and Joel Cohen's "A Serious Man," "Taking Woodstock" with Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber, "Traveling" with Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart, and "9" with Elijah Wood and John C. Reilly.

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in 94 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

NBC Universal is a leader in providing entertainment programming to the domestic and international marketplaces. The NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution division is responsible for the distribution of NBC Universal product to all forms of television within the U.S. and Canada. This includes distribution of current and library film and television product, including formats and non-scripted programming, in the pay, free, and basic markets, as well as the domestic syndication of first-run syndicated TV programs and theatrical and TV movie packages.

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi.





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