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[02/17/11 - 09:47 AM]
USA Network to Celebrate America's Innovators in a First-Ever Character Approved One-Hour Telecast
"Character Approved: Honoring 12 Cultural Trailblazers" will follow the season finale of "White Collar" on Tuesday, March 8.

[via press release from USA]

USA NETWORK TO CELEBRATE AMERICA'S INNOVATORS IN A FIRST-EVER CHARACTER APPROVED ONE-HOUR TELECAST

The special, Character Approved: Honoring 12 Cultural Trailblazers, to Premiere on Tuesday, March 8, 11/10c Immediately Following The Season Two Finale Of WHITE COLLAR

Acclaimed Documentarian Phil Griffin to Direct

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - February 17, 2011 - USA Network announced today the airing of the inaugural Character Approved Awards telecast on Tuesday, March 8 at 11/10c immediately following the season two finale of the hit original series WHITE COLLAR. The one-hour special, CHARACTER APPROVED: HONORING 12 CULTURAL TRAILBLAZERS, features exclusive interviews with twelve real "characters" who are changing the face of American culture. For the third year, the Character Approved Awards will pay tribute to the honorees who are chosen from a cross-section of creative disciplines: architecture, art, design, fashion, film, food, music, social good, technology, theatre and writing. The special, directed by documentarian Phil Griffin ("When We Were Beautiful," "Britney: For The Record"), will feature each honoree articulating their unique vision, influences and inspiration while illustrating a journey that sets them apart as cultural trailblazers. The special highlights USA's commitment to providing a national platform for important cultural influencers by introducing them to a broad audience and creating a collective dialogue around their ideas. Honorees will be announced later this week. The announcement was made by Chris McCumber, USA's executive vice president, marketing, digital and brand strategy.

"USA is taking the Character Approved Awards to the next level with our first ever on-air special, coming out of the much talked about finale of one of the hottest shows on television, WHITE COLLAR," said McCumber. "We welcome the twelve honorees to the network's strong roster of characters."

In addition to the telecast, USA will create a digital Character Approved hub at characterapproved.usanetwork.com that will include information on each honoree's past, current and upcoming projects along with exclusive editorial and creative content. Honorees will also be featured on the Character Approved Blog (characterblog.com), a unique digital platform through which people learn, share and voice their opinions 24/7, 365 days per year about the latest and greatest in cultural trends.

Established in 2009, USA's Character Approved Awards is a real-life extension of the philosophy that has made USA the #1 cable network: a commitment to innovative, surprising, inclusive, buzz-worthy and character-driven content. Each honoree is a character in his/her own right, with a distinct voice, personality and style.

The telecast comprises original, exclusive footage shot expressly for the special and allows USA to showcase the Character Approved honorees and share their stories with a broader audience. The special is part of USA's ongoing Character Approved cultural initiative dedicated to the people, places and things that are transforming American culture. For more information on Character Approved, visit characterapproved.usanetwork.com.

CHARACTER APPROVED: HONORING 12 CULTURAL TRAILBLAZERS is produced by @radical.media.

Phil Griffin made his debut as a filmmaker with the release of "When We Were Beautiful," a documentary about the rock band Bon Jovi. His second documentary about Britney Spears, "Britney: For The Record," gave MTV the second highest ratings for a program in the channels history. He began his career as a dancer and choreographer and worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Diana Ross, East 17 and Duran Duran. Griffin discovered his flair for directing in commercials with on-air spots for companies such as TK Maxx, GHD and Max Factor, and then followed his passion of directing music videos, working with such icons as Sir Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox, Kings of Leon and Prince. Griffin combines a beautiful and often photographic style with a skillful handling of performance pieces and celebrities.

@radical.media is a global transmedia company that creates some of the world's most innovative content across all forms of media. The company produces and distributes award-winning projects in a variety of media including feature films, television, music programming, commercials, graphic and interactive design, exhibitions, events, and original photography, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Sydney and Shanghai. The company's global network has given it a foundation for identifying and incubating in-house talent, while offering their client base a worldwide platform for the production, development and distribution of content.

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and is home to the biggest hits in blockbuster films, acquired television and entertainment events. Viewers come to USA to find television's best in critically-acclaimed and award-winning original programming, such as BURN NOTICE, ROYAL PAINS, WHITE COLLAR, COVERT AFFAIRS, FAIRLY LEGAL, PSYCH, IN PLAIN SIGHT, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, as well as the highest-rated acquired originals, including HOUSE, NCIS, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and CSI. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com, which is home to the popular new casual gaming site, www.characterarcade.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.





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