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ABC Entertainment And Warner Bros. Announce Unique Production Deal For “The Court”

(October 31, 2001 – Burbank, CA) - ABC Entertainment and Warner Bros. today announced a unique production deal for the network’s mid-season drama series, “The Court,” starring Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress Sally Field. Carol Flint (“ER”) will serve as executive producer and Sally Field will serve as co-executive producer, with the six-episode series commitment being produced by John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The deal also creates a precedent-setting marketplace template for the dual playing of programming, which gives the network the option of rebroadcasting each episode on a secondary cable platform within eight days of its initial telecast on ABC. An agreed-upon incremental value has been assigned to these cable exhibitions, and a formula has been created to protect the off-network cable value of the series should it achieve a certain number of episodes. The deal also gives the network a longer-term license, beyond existing extended term guidelines. “This precedent setting agreement is a win for all parties involved - the network, the studio and the creative community,” said Mark Pedowitz, Executive Vice President, ABC Entertainment Television Group. “The changing television landscape demands that new business paradigms be created to ensure our continued, long-term success. This deal achieves just that by giving us the option to dual play episodes of ‘The Court’ on a basic cable network thereby helping us defray the expenses of a well-produced drama.” “This innovative deal affords us a terrific opportunity to build a valuable asset for ourselves, the network and all of the talented creative people who are involved in this series,” said Bruce Rosenblum, Executive Vice President, Television, Warner Bros. “With ABC, we have established an equitable business solution which affords the network a significant amount of flexibility, while acknowledging that compensation needs to be paid to the studio and our creative talent for these additional cable exhibitions. This template also provides Warner Bros. with downside protection in the unlikely event that the additional cable exhibitions diminish the off-network cable value of the series.” “While this deal is an important business development that creates an arms-length ‘repurposing’ template, for me it is especially gratifying that John Wells Productions, Carol Flint and Warner Bros. Television will be working with Sally Field to bring this terrific drama to ABC this season,” said Peter Roth, President, Warner Bros. Television. “The Court,” starring Sally Field, takes a revealing look at the inner-workings of one of the most important, yet unknown, of American institutions, the Supreme Court. The series will explore a Supreme Court Justice’s (Field) relationships with her young clerks and the other Justices.
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