SUNDANCE CHANNEL BREAKS THE ICE WITH NEW ORIGINAL SERIES "BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR" PREMIERING JANUARY 18TH
Eight-Part Docu-Series Explores Real Life Ice-Capades of Iconoclastic Figure Skater and Pop Culture Sensation Johnny Weir and His Quest for Olympic Gold
New York, November 12, 2009 � Lights, camera, axel! In the eight-part original documentary series, "Be Good Johnny Weir," Sundance Channel explores the life of one of America�s most outspoken and colorful sports figures, three-time U.S. National Figure Skating Champion and World Medalist Johnny Weir. The series airs Mondays at 10:30pm e/p beginning January 18th.
"Be Good Johnny Weir" delivers an absorbing portrait of an athlete whose personality is as big as his talent. Bright, quick-witted and extroverted, Weir is as comfortable walking in a downtown New York fashion show as he is on the ice, and he is known for giving candid, irreverent, responses at press events. At the same time, Weir has the athletic prowess to back up his pop culture stardom, demonstrating both breathtaking grace and supreme technical skill. He also injects his larger-than-life persona into his routines -- wearing sparkly self-designed "onesie" costumes portraying both male and female characters in his controversial routine "The Swan." Weir was heavily favored going into the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, but finished a disappointing fifth. Now 24, the skater has learned that talent alone does not make a champion � and he knows he must dig deep if he is to secure what may be his last chance at a place on a U.S. Olympic team. "Be Good Johnny Weir" follows Weir as he competes all over the globe, culminating in his appearance at the U.S. Men�s Nationals in January, the results of which determine whether or not he will vie for the gold in Vancouver. It is here that Weir will learn whether or not he will be able to fulfill his dream of Olympic glory on the world stage.
"This series tells the hugely entertaining tale of an independent quest for greatness" said Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel EVP and GM. "Weir is a very compelling individual, someone who takes the art of skating to a higher level, and we�re excited to give our viewers the chance to follow his adventure across the ice."
"Be Good Johnny Weir" kicks off on January 18th with a special 90-minute episode, "Pop Star on Ice." This feature-length episode screened at several film festivals in the summer of 2009, and received glowing reviews. Writing about "Pop Star on Ice" at the Seattle International Film Festival, Alissa Simon of Variety called it "a fascinating portrait" in which "Weir proves as natural a screen presence as he is a skater."
"Be Good Johnny Weir" is directed and produced by James Pellerito and David Barba, who will also serve as Executive Producers. The series is directed, produced and co-financed by Original Media ("LA Ink", "Stormchasers", "The Rachel Zoe Project"). Executive Producers for Sundance Channel are Sarah Barnett, Lynne Kirby and Ann Rose.
The schedule for "Be Good Johnny Weir" is as follows:
Monday, January 18th at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 1: "Pop Star on Ice"
Monday, January 25th at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 2
Monday, February 1st at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 3
Monday, February 8th at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 4
Monday, March 1st at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 5
Monday, March 8th at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 6
Monday, March 15th at 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 7
Monday, March 22ndat 10:30pm
"Be Good Johnny Weir"/Episode 8
About Johnny Weir
Johnny Weir was born and raised in Coatesville, Pennsylvania and started skating very late for a figure skater, at the age of twelve. Four years later, he was the World Junior Champion. Johnny placed fifth at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino and is a three time National Champion as well as the 2008 World Bronze Medalist. Unlike most figure skaters, Johnny is a clockwise spinner and jumper. He is known for his quick wit, his fashion sense, his sparkly onesie' costumes which he designs himself, and his tremendous natural talent and grace on the ice. Jon Heder's character in Blades of Glory was based on Johnny Weir.
About Sundance Channel
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries and original programs. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel's website address is www.sundancechannel.com.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media's NYC studios and post-production facilities.