IN CELEBRATION OF THE FINAL SEASON OF HIT SERIES 'MONK,' USA NETWORK TEAMS UP WITH SLEEP INN TO LAUNCH ORIGINAL LIVE-ACTION WEB SERIES, LITTLE MONK
NEW YORK � August 12, 2009 � USA Network and Sleep Inn hotels have teamed up to launch USA Network's first live-action original web series, Little Monk, a spinoff of the critically-acclaimed series MONK, starring Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Tony Shalhoub. The announcement was made today by Alexandra Shapiro, senior vice president, brand marketing and digital, USA Network.
To celebrate the eighth and final season of MONK, which premiered last Friday, USA teamed with Sleep Inn hotels and leveraged the longstanding hit series to unveil their new promotional campaign "Discover The Details." Little Monk will debut during an all-new episode of Monk on Friday, August 21 with a two-minute sneak peek to drive viewers online for the conclusion. Fans of USA's hit series will simultaneously get to "discover the details" of Monk's childhood neurosis while learning about the many features offered by Sleep Inn hotels. Sleep Inn will also be integrated into a webisode as well as packaging for the web series. The sponsorship is part of a larger 360-degree campaign, which includes a Sleep Inn integration in the August 21 episode, "Mr. Monk and the UFO." New webisodes will premiere every week to coincide with new episodes of the television series. The Sleep Inn "Discover the Details" promotion officially launched on August 3.
"The relationship between Sleep Inn and MONK is an example of a truly creative marketing collaboration that utilizes the strengths of USA's distinct characters to organically integrate our advertiser's brand message in an entertaining way," said Shapiro.
Exclusive to usanetwork.com and featuring Sleep Inn "Discover the Details" branding, the 10 episode web series Little Monk takes viewers back to Monk's childhood days as he and his friends navigate the socially awkward junior high school years. Each 3-4 minute webisode follows the adventures of the Monk brothers in school as they solve smaller crimes: missing bracelets, stolen money, graffiti, etc. Fans will be able to unravel the mystery of why Monk is as neurotic and compulsive as he is when they get a glimpse of his childhood experiences. Newcomers Aaron Linker plays Little Adrian Monk and Christopher Lizardi plays Little Ambrose Monk. The webisodes are written by MONK executive producer/head writer Andy Breckman and are directed by MONK executive/directing producer Randy Zisk. This is the first digital production by Universal Cable Productions.
"Sleep Inn is a great option for travelers who are looking for consistent, restful, reliable and modern hotel accommodations all at a great value,' said Chris Malone, chief marketing officer for Choice Hotels International, franchisor of the Sleep Inn brand. "The lead character of Monk is notorious for his obsessive cleanliness, and in turn, the "Discover the Details" reminds guests of how Sleep Inn delivers a consistent and reliable hotel stay across all of its franchised hotel locations."
To support the web series USA created a "Little Monk" Microsite that includes the original live-action webisodes, and a Sleep Inn co-branded sweepstakes for a chance to win $25K and many other daily prizes. The partnership will be promoted via weekly on-air promos, online messaging and exposure across facebook, twitter and other compatible websites.
The media agencies for the project were MPG and Arnold Worldwide.
Tony Shalhoub ("Big Night," "Wings," "Men in Black," "Cars") has earned three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and two SAG Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Adrian Monk, a brilliant detective who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Monk's psychological disorder costs him his position as a legendary homicide detective on the San Francisco Police force. Due to the tragic unsolved murder of his wife, Monk has developed an abnormal fear of germs, heights, crowds and virtually everything else, which provides an unusual challenge to solving crimes � not to mention his day-to-day existence. MONK also stars Traylor Howard ("Two Guys and a Girl," "Me, Myself and Irene"), Ted Levine ("Memoirs of a Geisha," "American Gangster"), Jason Gray-Stanford ("Flags of Our Fathers," "A Beautiful Mind"), Hector Elizondo ("Chicago Hope," "Pretty Woman") and Emmy Clarke ("My House in Umbria," "Fur"). MONK remains one of the highest-rated original scripted series in basic cable history.
Universal Cable Productions was established to create a sustainable pipeline of quality content and derive the greatest value from it across multiple platforms. The studio will be an industry leader in unique and innovative programming for USA and SCI FI Channel, and all cable networks.
USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 98.5 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and 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.
Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,800 hotels, representing more than 475,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 countries and territories. As of March 31, 2009, 896 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing 70,381 rooms, and an additional 111 hotels, representing 9,114 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.