(August 3, 2010 – London and Burbank, CA) – Sky 1 HD today announces a deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution for the exclusive UK television rights to the critically acclaimed family sitcom “The Middle,” starring Emmy® Award winner Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and created by Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline (both “How I Met Your Mother”). The single-camera comedy will begin its first season this summer on Sky 1 HD and Sky 1 and will build on the channel’s growing reputation for great comedy shows kick-started by the multi award-winning “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” The announcement was made today by Louisa Forsyth, Acquisitions Manager, Entertainment, and Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. “The Middle” stars Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as Frankie Heck in a comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations. Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country, this harried wife and working mother of three uses her dry wit and sense of humor to try to get her family through each day intact. Frankie has a job (not a career) selling cars at the town’s only surviving car dealer, with the support of her friend and colleague, Bob (Chris Kattan, “Saturday Night Live”). Her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn, “Scrubs”), is a calamity-prone manager at the local quarry. Frankie and Mike try to balance their jobs with raising their troublesome kids with love and solid practicality. Axl (Charlie McDermott, “Frozen River”) is the oldest, a teenage jock with discipline issues and a penchant for parading around in his underwear. Sue (Eden Sher, “Weeds”) is their extraordinarily ordinary pre-teen daughter who fails at everything with great gusto, and Brick (Atticus Shaffer, “Hancock”), is an odd kid whose best friend is his backpack. Together, they’re putting “The Middle” on the map. Louisa Forsyth commented, “I'm delighted we have secured ‘The Middle.’ It’s extremely funny and has been a big hit in the US, leading into ‘Modern Family.’ Last week, we announced Sky 1 HD’s first raft of UK comedies. This show adds to that momentum and the reputation Sky 1 HD has for bringing the best US and UK shows to the small screen. We feel this is one of the absolute best.” Jeffrey Schlesinger said, “Sky 1 HD has made a significant commitment to expand its comedy programming offerings, and we think ‘The Middle’ is a perfect fit for their audience, a family-based series that entertainingly – and realistically – depicts the challenges families face today. The show has performed strongly in the US on ABC, and we expect it to become a hit with UK viewers, as well.” “The Middle” returns for a second season this fall in the US on the ABC Television Network. Entertainment Weekly declared the first season of “The Middle” to be “beautifully written and acted,” while The Washington Post proclaimed it “a triumph.” TV Guide Magazine said that “Patricia Heaton proves why she has all those Emmys in this refreshingly sweet family sitcom,” while The Wall Street Journal exulted that Heaton “shines in a finely tuned performance as Frankie Heck.” “The Middle” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. The series was created and is executive produced by Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline. About Sky 1: Sky 1 is the most watched non-terrestrial channel in Sky homes, attracting more than 17m unique viewers every month. Sky 1 distinguishes itself from rival networks with award-winning, exclusive US and homegrown drama, talked-about entertainment formats and distinctive factual entertainment series. Sky 1’s hit US drama series include “Bones,” “Stargate Universe,” “Fringe,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “House.” Soon to join “Modern Family” and “The Simpsons” on Sky 1 HD’s comedy slate are “Stella,” starring and written by “Gavin & Stacey’s” Ruth Jones; “This Is Jinsy,” an eccentric comedy about the bizarre residents of a fictional Island called Jinsy; “Mount Pleasant,” a comedy drama following the not-so-perfect life of a Mancunian couple; and “Little Crackers,” a season of autobiographical comic shorts from Britain’s best-loved stars for this Christmas' schedule. 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. For more information, please log on to www.wbitv.com.