ION TELEVISION EXPANDS ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING WITH THE ACQUISITION OF THE BORDER AND THE GUARD
Two New Drama Series To Premiere on ION Television
(West Palm Beach, Fla. � February 24, 2009)� ION Television announced today the acquisition of two new one-hour original dramatic series, The Border and The Guard, each making their U.S. debuts on ION later this year.
ION Television has signed a deal with Fireworks International, the television and digital programming distribution arm of ContentFilm, to secure the exclusive U.S. original broadcast rights for The Border, the award-winning procedural crime drama series. The Border follows members of the elite Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Unit working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to secure the border on both sides of the line.
ION Television, in a separate deal with Lionsgate, also secured the exclusive U.S. original broadcast rights for The Guard, an original action-drama series focusing on the members of a Coastguard Search and Rescue team. ION also has all U.S. television, digital media rights, Internet streaming and video-on-demand rights for both shows.
"ION Television's ratings growth is based on broadening its entertainment appeal through a growing mix of strong off-net series, blockbuster theatricals, sitcoms, and original content. The Guard and The Border are two original dramas that will fit nicely with proven hits like NCIS and Criminal Minds on our schedule this fall," said Brandon Burgess, Chairman and CEO, ION Media Networks. "Our new programming chief Leslie Glenn Chesloff will expand on this vision with further syndicated content, originals, and made-for-TV projects."
Melissa Wohl, Senior Vice-President at Fireworks International, added, "We are delighted to have placed The Border with ION in the US. ION is a great home for strong dramas and the show is in excellent hands and company. This significant deal reflects the tremendous global success of this award-winning series."
Rand Stoll, Executive Vice President, Lionsgate Television Sales noted, "We are delighted to enter into this agreement with ION on The Guard, which we feel is one of television's best kept secrets. Given its compelling mix of action and powerful performance, we expect this series will attract a solid audience for ION here in the U.S. as it has done internationally."
The Border, which garnered two prestigious Gemini Awards with ten nominations, including Best Dramatic Series, is a hard-driving crime drama featuring strong, topical stories � from terrorist threats and drug smuggling, to trafficking in illegal organs and underage brides, to corporate and international espionage -- and brings a cool lens to the grit of urban life. Stars include James McGowan (All the Good Ones Are Married), Sofia Milos (CSI Miami), Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica), Graham Abbey (Till Death Do Us Part), Mark Wilson (Blue Murder), Jim Codrington (Queer As Folk), Jonas Chernick (The Eleventh Hour), Nazneen Contractor (Relic Hunter) and Catherine Disher (X-Men).
A White Pines Pictures Production produced in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Border is also under license in the U.K., Italy, Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, South Korea, Sweden, Estonia, Bulgaria, and South Africa.
The Guard, produced by Halifax Film and Brightlight Pictures Inc., is shot in the scenic wilderness of Squamish, British Columbia. A character-driven ensemble series, it focuses on the lives of four imperfect, offbeat and sometimes difficult, but heroic Canadian Coast Guard Rescue specialists who face danger daily out on the Pacific Ocean, saving lives as they search for meaning in their own. This gripping, high-action drama series stars Steve Bacic (21 Jump Street, Tailhook) as Duty Captain Miro Da Silva, Jeremy Guilbaut (Edgemont) as Rescue Specialist Andrew Vanderlee and Sonya Salomaa (Durham County) as First Mate Laura Nelson. David James Elliot (JAG, Closer to Home) also guest stars in the recurring role of David Nelson.
About Fireworks International
Fireworks International is ContentFilm's international television distribution division with over 3,000 hours of high-quality and commercially appealing programming including an extensive slate of major drama series, factual entertainment, kids live action comedy and drama series, TV movies, mini-series and special event programming. Recent additions include hit drama series, THE WILD ROSES, crime thriller series, THE BORDER and heart-warming family drama series, HEARTLAND; BLOOD TIES, twenty-two hours of mystery drama with more than a touch of the supernatural; brand new U.S. tween comedy THE ASSISTANTS; Mondo Media's MONDO MINI SHOWS catalogue featuring a raft of offbeat comedy programming; children's programmes HALF MOON INVESTIGATIONS, FAMILY BIZ and ROBOTECH; plus over 200 U.S. network mini-series and TV movies; and specials including the Annual U.S. PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS shows. This new product is combined with the large and valuable Fireworks library catalogue which is complemented by a raft of formidable television shows including Gene Roddenberry's ANDROMEDA, MUTANT X and RELIC HUNTER.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is the leading next generation studio with a major presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company has generated more than $400 million at the North American theatrical box office in the past 12 months and has forged strong positions in television and home entertainment with the production of such critically-acclaimed television series as "Weeds" and "Mad Men," the distribution of "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Family Feud," "South Park," "Trivial Pursuit" and "The Dead Zone" and nearly 7% market share and the industry's leading box office-to-DVD conversion rate in home entertainment. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation and original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.
About ION Television
ION Television (www.iontelevision.com) is a general entertainment network which reaches over 94 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Launched in 2006, ION Television 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. Parent company, ION Media Networks, Inc., owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group. Using its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched the digital TV brands 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.