HALLMARK CHANNEL BOLSTERS ITS WESTERN AND MYSTERY LINE-UPS WITH ACQUISITIONS OF "COMANCHE MOON" MINI-SERIES AND ADDITIONAL "STONE COLD" MYSTERY MOVIES FROM SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Deal Also Includes 18 Classic Movie Musicals to be Featured on Hallmark Movie Channel
Hallmark Channel saddles up for more "Rough 'n' Ready" weeks and more mystery movie marathons with the acquisition of the Emmy� Award-nominated mini-series "Comanche Moon" and two additional "Stone Cold" movies starring Tom Selleck, all from Sony Pictures Television. In addition, the acquisition deal brings a roster of 18 classic musicals to Hallmark Movie Channel. The deal was announced today by Michelle Vicary, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Scheduling.
Titles in the deal for Hallmark Movie Channel � the 24-hour sibling network to Hallmark Channel which airs "the very best" of family friendly theatrical feature films � include "Bye, Bye Birdie," starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Maureen Stapleton; "Funny Lady," starring Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif, Roddy McDowall and Ben Vereen; "Oliver!," starring Oliver Reed and Jack Wild; "Pal Joey," starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak; and, "Pennies From Heaven," starring Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. The musicals will become part of a franchised block on Hallmark Movie Channel.
"Based on the performance of the first 'Stone Cold' franchise, we're thrilled to be adding all of the movies in this mystery/thriller series, and 'Comanche Moon' is a natural addition to our popular Western library. Musicals also make sense for us, especially as we grow our audience for Hallmark Movie Channel with distinctive content that is timeless in its appeal," said Vicary. "Most importantly, each movie in this hugely important deal perfectly fits our family-friendly brand enabling us to attract new advertisers and spur even greater distribution for both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel."
Val Kilmer ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"), Steve Zahn ("Riding in Cars With Boys"), Academy Award� and Emmy Award nominee Rachel Griffiths ("Six Feet Under"), and Academy Award nominee Graham Greene ("Dances with Wolves") star in "Comanche Moon," a six-hour mini-series based on the book by Larry McMurtry, the prequel to the multiple Emmy Award-winning mini-series "Lonesome Dove," from Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winners Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.
The "Stone Cold" movies star Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Tom Selleck as a self-destructive Los Angeles homicide detective who leaves the big city to become the Police Chief of a small fishing town who soon has more need for his skills than anyone could imagine. The movies are based on the best-selling series of books by Robert B. Parker.
Hallmark Channel is known for its success in programming a uniquely appealing mix of original movies � like the four original holiday premieres which each delivered over a 3.0 HH rating � the very best of family-friendly theatrical feature films; and, a line-up of classic and beloved off-network series including "7th Heaven," "Little House on the Prairie," "M*A*S*H," and "The Golden Girls" which begins March 1.
Hallmark Movie Channel, the second linear channel from Crown Media Holdings, simulcast in SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition), is a 24-hour cable network dedicated to bringing viewers the greatest family movies of all time with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. In today's crowded television landscape, the network is a unique and captivating entertainment experience, providing programming that families can watch together. For more information on Hallmark Movie Channel, please visit www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com.
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 86 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 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 which plays the greatest family movies of all time, Hallmark Movie Channel, and launched Hallmark Movie Channel HD in April, 2008.
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication and digital distribution. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN, is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile and manages the studio's video website, Crackle.
Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.