Showtime Networks, The Weinstein Company sign long-term output deal

Mumbai: Showtime Networks has entered into an exclusive seven-year film distribution arrangement with The Weinstein Company (TWC). The joint announcement was made by Showtime Networks chairman and CEO Matthew C. Blank and TWC co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

The new output deal is effective with TWC’s 2009-release schedule and includes highly anticipated films such as Nine, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren, and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards.

"This exclusive agreement with The Weinstein Company will deliver our subscribers an enormous and diverse slate of films at a price to Showtime that is consistent with today’s marketplace," said Blank. "Bob’s and Harvey’s films are known for quality and promotion ability, making them a perfect fit with the acclaimed and award-winning original series that have generated strong momentum and subscriber growth for Showtime. We will continue to pursue such value-enhancing deals in the future."

The agreement with TWC — combined with upcoming deals from other theatrical distributors and future product from CBS Films — will form a potent feature film portfolio alongside Showtime’s award winning, critically acclaimed original series and sports programming. These series include Dexter, Californication, The Tudors, Weeds, Brotherhood, The L Word, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and the just announced series, United States of Tara, from executive producer Steven Spielberg, written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and starring Toni Collett.

Showtime is also the new home of Inside The NFL, with hosts James Brown, Cris Collinsworth and Phil Simms, which premieres 10 September. Also, Showtime Championship Boxing and Elite XC, Showtime Networks’ entry into the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts will be airing its second national broadcast on 26 July, with Showtime airing the first hour, from 8-9 before going live on the CBS Television Network at 9.

"This long-term strategic partnership is a tremendous initiative for our company and provides our films with a critically important pay-tv home for the next seven years," said Harvey Weinstein. "Showtime is one of the hottest brands in television and we have tremendous respect for Matt Blank and his team’s passion, dedication and creativity. We look forward to continuing to build our diverse slate and creating movies that will entertain Showtime’s audience," he added.

Additional titles included from TWC are Andrew Jarecki’s All Good Things starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, a modern remake of Kurosawa’s legendary Seventh Samurai, the screen adaptation of author Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel The Alchemist" and Richard Shepard’s Panic based on Jeff Abbott’s best-selling book.

The output deal also includes releases from Dimension Films such as Youth In Revolt, based on C.D. Payne’s bestselling book and starring Michael Cera, 6 Billion Dollar Man, the remake of David Cronenberg’s Scanners, re-starting the Scream franchise with Scream 4, and Piranha 3D.

This deal furthers the relationship between Showtime Networks and TWC’s Dimension Films, which began in 1997 with Showtime airing Mimic, and Scream 2.

"Dimension Films has enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Showtime and we are glad to be re-united with Matt Blank," added Bob Weinstein. "We are excited to build upon our past success with this new partnership and our upcoming slate."

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