(October 10, 2002 – Burbank, CA) – The ABC Television Network has entered into a multi-year, wide ranging deal with producer Mike Fleiss, his production company, Next Entertainment, and Telepictures Productions, it was announced today by Jim Paratore, President, Telepictures Productions and Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Andrea Wong, Senior Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, ABC Entertainment. Fleiss and Telepictures have already received a commitment from the network for two reality series, as well as a sitcom development deal. Details on these projects will be released at a later date. Telepictures and Fleiss (who recently extended his overall deal with Telepictures) have already produced two installments of the hit primetime reality series “The Bachelor” for ABC, with a third planned for spring 2003. Production began last week on “The Bachelorette,” starring Trista Rehn, the runner-up from the first edition of “The Bachelor,” with the series scheduled to premiere in January on ABC. During its initial run on ABC last season, “The Bachelor” quickly became appointment television, consistently building on its lead-in and gaining audience throughout each hour -- over the course of its Monday night run, “The Bachelor” built on its lead-in by 23% in Total Viewers and by 64% among Adults 18-49. The Thursday night season finale for “The Bachelor” drew 18.2 million viewers and scored a 7.3 rating/17 share among Adults 18-49, drawing ABC’s largest audience with series programming in the hour in well over one year and the highest Adult 18-49 rating in almost two years. This season, “The Bachelor’s” recent 9 p.m. Wednesday evening premiere was the top rated program on Wednesday night in Adults 18-34, outdelivering even the season premiere of the NBC powerhouse “Law & Order.” “Mike is one of the best reality producers in the business today,” said Paratore. “We look forward to working with him and his team at Next Entertainment to create fresh and innovative series for network as well as syndication and cable.” Wong added, “Mike is an exceptionally creative producer who knows how to tell compelling stories with great commercial appeal. We’re thrilled to have solidified our relationship through this deal, and look forward to partnering with him and Telepictures on many more successful projects in the future.” Fleiss, Next Entertainment and Telepictures Productions recently wrapped production on “High School Reunion” for midseason on The WB Television Network. Over the past few years, Fleiss has become a leading producer of reality programming, producing over 100 hours of television including, “Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire” and “Battle of Child Geniuses.” Prior to forming Next Entertainment in 1999, Fleiss teamed with Bruce Nash of Nash entertainment to produce “Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic Secrets Finally Revealed I, II and III,” “TV’s All-time Favorites” and “Before They Were Stars.” In addition to his work in television, Fleiss is currently working on the feature film remake of the classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which is being produced by Next Entertainment in association with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes for New Line Cinema. The film is set to premiere in 2003.
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