KCET, public television for Southern and Central California, is launching the "KCET Saturday Night Movie" with classic films from the Warner Bros. Entertainment library via a pioneering arrangement with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution (WBDCD), it was announced today by Al Jerome, KCET president and CEO. Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning actor Martin Sheen, the "KCET Saturday Night Movie" will debut on Saturday, May 5, at 10:00 p.m., with "East of Eden," starring James Dean and adapted from the novel author John Steinbeck described as his best work. The movies will be shown unedited for television, with only one brief intermission. KCET launches its classic film presentations with movies from Warner Bros. Entertainment, the first studio to enter into an agreement with KCET to broadcast selected titles each week. The film program was made possible by support from Warner Bros. Entertainment. “We are extremely pleased to launch 'KCET Saturday Night Movie' with Warner Bros. Entertainment and Martin Sheen,” says Jerome. “This groundbreaking partnership with Warner Bros. makes it possible for KCET to reinvent the television movie experience. Martin is a longtime friend of KCET, and we are honored to work with him on this new project.” “I am delighted to work with KCET,” says Sheen. “I look forward to hosting this new series and to introducing public television audiences to terrific movies from the Warner Bros. library.” “We’re thrilled to be partnering with KCET on this exciting new programming that brings some of Warner Bros.’ most iconic films to public television for the first time,” says Eric Frankel, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. “The Warner Bros. film library is an unrivaled treasure trove of classic motion pictures that are bound to attract viewers and make the 'KCET Saturday Night Movie' a success for the station and TV viewers in Southern California.” As host of "KCET Saturday Night Movie," acclaimed film and television actor Martin Sheen provides enlightening information and historical perspective about each picture. Among his many acclaimed roles, Sheen portrayed United States President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet for seven seasons on "The West Wing," produced by John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television for NBC. Throughout his distinguished career, Sheen has also taken time to lend his talents to KCET. He was among a large cast of noted actors featured in "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century," the eight-part Peabody and Emmy® Award-winning PBS series about World War I co-produced by KCET/Los Angeles and the BBC. He has also provided a voiceover for the launch of the station’s “Infinitely More” promotional on-air spots and participated in an online Q&A for the companion website to "GlobalTribe," a meaningful exploration of global issues, co-produced for PBS by KCET and Creative Vision. The Warner Bros. films presented as part of "KCET Saturday Night Movie" are licensed for a one-time television broadcast. Each broadcast will include one brief intermission and no commercial interruptions. Discussions are also underway for additional elements to enhance the viewer experience, including a dedicated URL at kcet.org especially for film buffs that will provide links to fascinating movie-making facts, film trivia and showcase rarely seen archival materials such as promotional posters, movie trailers and lobby cards, as well as an online store. DVDs will be offered as part of KCET’s membership program. In addition to the May 5 premiere of "East of Eden," which stars James Dean in his first major film role, the KCET Saturday Night Movie schedule launches with additional films from Warner Bros. "Amadeus" (airing May 12), winner of eight Academy Awards® in 1985, including Best Picture, reunited the producer-director team of Saul Zaentz and Milos Forman that swept the 1976 Oscars® with "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" (also scheduled to air on KCET). Director Stephen Frears earned his first Oscar® nomination for "The Grifters" (airing May 19), starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening. "Chariots of Fire" (airing May 26), winner of the Oscar® for Best Picture in 1982, was director Hugh Hudson’s first feature film. The June schedule also features Warner Bros. classics. "Blade Runner" (airing June 2), the futuristic 1987 thriller that questioned what it means to be human, was voted by eminent world scientists in 2004 as the best science fiction film to date. "Body Heat" (airing June 9) launched the film career of Kathleen Turner. "Cool Hand Luke" (airing June 16), the 1967 Paul Newman classic, spawned the famous line: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Actor Ed Harris made his film debut in "Coma" (airing June 23), and with his starring role in "Superman" (airing June 30), the late Christopher Reeve became an international superstar. Other classics premiering as part of "KCET Saturday Night Movie" include the iconic teen-angst drama "Rebel Without a Cause," starring James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood; Alfred Hitchcock’s "Strangers on a Train," based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, author of "The Talented Mr. Ripley"; and "Bonnie and Clyde," hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “the first modern American film…a daring, disturbing tragicomedy that ushered in a giddy, golden era of Hollywood movies.” Says Jerome: “These are some of the greatest movies ever made, rarely in theaters or on TV. This is a great opportunity to see them as they were meant to be originally shown.” "KCET Saturday Night Movie" is the first phase of "Celebrate the Southland – KCET at Ten," a major new broadcast initiative that will present extensive local programming at 10:00 p.m. About Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution is one of the leading suppliers of programming to the pay television and basic cable marketplaces. WBDCD is responsible for the sale, marketing and distribution of previously produced content from the vast Warner Bros. Entertainment library—including feature films, television series, miniseries, television movies and specials—to basic cable and pay TV. WBDCD is also a major licensor of feature films to the broadcast networks. About KCET KCET, public television for Southern and Central California, is watched by 4.6 million viewers per month in 11 counties, the largest broadcast reach of any public television station in the United States. The station also serves as a content provider for national and regional PBS member stations. Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has garnered hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs and its outreach and community services. Series produced from the station’s Hollywood studios include Life & Times, California Connected, Tavis Smiley, A Place of Our Own/Los Niños en Su Casa and the pilot for Wired Science, produced in association with Wired magazine. Additional information about KCET is available at www.kcet.org.
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