(July 23, 2009 – London and Burbank, CA) – In the first post-LA Screenings acquisition of a new US television program in the UK, ITV has secured the rights to the one-hour series “The Vampire Diaries,” as well as the blockbuster feature film “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and a substantial number of additional theatrical motion pictures in a wide-ranging content deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. The announcement was made today by Zai Bennett, ITV's Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, and Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros International Television. Based on the best-selling book series by L.J. Smith, “The Vampires Diaries” is a new romantic drama from Kevin Williamson (hit movies “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” TV series “Dawson's Creek”), in which two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – are at war for the soul of a high school girl and the souls of her friends and family. The series will be a focal point of ITV’s schedule in 2010. The portfolio also features the premiere, on ITV1, of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth film in the series charting the adventures of the young Hogwarts wizard. In addition to “The Vampire Diaries” and the “Harry Potter” film, the deal also includes the following television and movie titles: • “Gossip Girl”: The return of the popular and acclaimed international hit series about the social lives of wealthy prep-school students in New York, which has its third-season premiere in September in the US • A substantial number of theatrical motion pictures, including the Academy Award®-winning animated feature “Happy Feet” as well as the Batman, Oceans and Matrix franchises, along with a broad range of catalogue film titles Zai Bennett said the deal unlocked a huge range of exciting content: "This deal further cements ITV and Warner Bros.’ close working relationship. We are delighted that the ITV family of channels will continue to be the home of many of Warner's first class feature films; including the terrestrial premier of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” on ITV1 and all new series “The Vampire Diaries” for ITV2." Jeffrey R. Schlesinger said: "Despite speculation as to UK buyers’ appetite and pricing for US programs this year, the acquisition of “The Vampire Diaries” by ITV2 proves that in-demand series will still generate significant interest and license fees in the UK. This show was one of the most highly sought-after at the LA Screenings, attracting interest from numerous broadcasters. We are especially pleased to place this series targeted at the youth audience on ITV2, as we believe this is the perfect home for the show, as evidenced by the success of “Gossip Girl.” We are also happy to add “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” available for broadcast later this year, to the collection of the four other “Harry Potter” titles already under contract to ITV, continuing to make ITV the UK television home of the most successful feature film franchise in history.” “The Vampire Diaries” stars Nina Dobrev (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”), Paul Wesley (“Everwood”), Ian Somerhalder (“Lost”), Steven R. McQueen (“Everwood”), Katerina Graham (“17 Again”), Sara Canning (“Smallville”), Candice Accola (“Supernatural”), Zach Roerig (“Friday Night Lights”), Kayla Ewell (“Entourage”) and Michael Trevino (“The Riches”). Kevin Williamson, Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy (both of “Gossip Girl”) are the executive producers. The series is from Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. About ITV ITV is the biggest commercial television network in the UK, broadcasting the most talked about television and making a major contribution to the UK’s culture, economy and communities. About Warner Bros. International Television Distribution Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of feature films, television programs and animation to the international television marketplace (broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital platforms, etc.). It licenses some 50,000 hours of programming (including more than 6,000 features and 70+ current series), dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 languages, to telecasters and cablecasters in more than 175 countries.
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