(June 5, 2006 - Burbank, CA) - Hallmark Channel has acquired the U.S. rights to a slate of 39 feature films from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, including the network television premiere of the Academy Award-winning documentary, “March of the Penguins,” it was announced today by David Kenin, Executive Vice President, Programming, for Hallmark Channel. The groundbreaking acquisition deal, which includes the network television premiere of “Troy,” the $133 million box-office spectacular featuring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and Peter O’Toole as well as rights to “Miss Congeniality,” “The In-Laws,” “Hearts In Atlantis,” “Kangaroo Jack,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “New York Minute,” “Felicity: An American Girl Adventure” and “Samantha: An American Girl Holiday,” is the most ambitious ever for the Top-10 rated Hallmark Channel. “We are thrilled about this deal. Hallmark Channel is still bent on world domination and we are starting with Antarctica,” teased Kenin. “It will help to drive ratings, attract more sponsors and increase distribution for the network.” “This movie package is the next major step for us as we continue to offer an unparalleled viewing destination that appeals to the contemporary family, and is a key element in our goal to become the most-watched cable network,” said Scott Anderson, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Programming. “There’s no question that many successful networks program feature films, as well as series to attract large audiences,” said Gus Lucas, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. “A healthy dose of contemporary feature films, with appropriate event-like marketing support truly drives viewership and boosts the entire schedule. We are thrilled that Hallmark has aggressively entered the network window business and look forward to working closely with them in the future.” “March of the Penguins,” the surprise hit movie about the incredible true story of a family of Emperor Penguins and their journey to bring life into the world, will make its U.S. premiere exclusively on Hallmark Channel during the upcoming holiday season. Other hit movies in the package include “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Michael,” “Jack Frost,” “City Slickers,” “Forever Young,” “Little Giants,” “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Hallmark Channel is known for its Original movies and events, including its Mystery Movie franchises, and for its popular acquisitions including, “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “M*A*S*H” and “Diagnosis Murder.” Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of over 73 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through more than 5,300 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its award-winning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television. Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution is the leading supplier of programming to the pay television and basic cable marketplaces. WBDCD licenses, markets and distributes top quality programming to a dozen broadcast networks, 30 pay TV, over 100 basic cable channels and numerous HD networks.
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