WEEDS, DAMAGES, THE STRAITS, THE SLAP AND FILM FESTIVAL TITLES TO DEBUT ON SUNDANCE CHANNEL IN 2012
NEW ACQUISITIONS BUILD ON SUNDANCE CHANNEL GLOBAL HIT LINEUP INCLUDING MAD MEN, THE WALKING DEAD, BREAKING BAD & HELL ON WHEELS
MIPTV – Cannes, France/New York, NY – 1 April 2012 – AMC/Sundance Channel Global is bolstering its programming slate by acquiring the rights to a wide range of new productions, acclaimed series and independent films, including Weeds, Damages, The Straits, The Slap and independent films from festivals including Sundance Film Festival, Cannes, Venice and more. These announcements follow recent agreements with premier Pay TV platforms across multiple key markets in Europe and Asia for new launches of its international television networks and video-on-demand (VOD) services.
“AMC/Sundance Channel Global has experienced expanded growth over a very short time and while our advanced rights offering and robust VOD services are embraced by operators, it is our outstanding programming that caters to a hungry audience and continues to drive the growth of our business,” stated Bruce Tuchman, President, AMC/Sundance Channel Global. “These acquisitions reinforce our commitment to offering high quality, independent-minded programming to international audiences across multiple platforms.”
Cult hit Weeds has been acquired for Sundance Channel in France and French Benelux through a deal with Lionsgate. The agreement includes rights to the series through season four (10×30’ season 1; 12×30’ season 2; 15×30’ season 3; 13×30’ season 4). Damages has been acquired for Sundance Channel in Spain and Portugal through an agreement with Sony Pictures Television. The agreement includes rights to the series through season five (13×60’ season 1-3; 10×60’ seasons 4-5). The Straits is a new 10×60’ darkly humorous crime drama series set in Australia. Premiere window rights have been acquired for Sundance Channel in Eastern Europe, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, France, Benelux and select territories in Asia through an agreement with DCD Rights.
The Slap is a new 8×60’ drama mini-series based on the bestselling book by Christos Tsiolkas. Sundance Channel has acquired premiere window rights for the series to air in Dutch Benelux through an agreement with DCD Rights. This agreement builds on the channel’s previously acquired rights for the program in Eastern Europe, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Asia.
Numerous film titles have been acquired including Bellflower and Myth of the American Sleepover. The deal includes over 25 premiere window titles on Sundance Channel in Eastern Europe and Belgium.
Currently, viewers in Europe and Asia can find shows such as Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Hell on Wheels on Sundance Channel. Last week, Sundance Channel’s sister channel AMC in the US debuted season five of “Mad Men” with a two-hour premiere, which resulted in record ratings making it the most watched episode ever from the series. Created by Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate, “Mad Men” made history last September as the first basic cable series ever to win the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series in four consecutive years. AMC also recently aired the season finale of Season Two of The Walking Dead and delivered 9 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode in series history. The finale grew more than 50% in total viewers over season one. The series has received rave reviews from countless critics who heralded the series as “thrilling” (The Hollywood Reporter), “…with Dead’s riveting cast of characters, the personal dynamics are almost as potent as the gory thrills” (US Weekly), “The Walking Dead is a feast. Dig in.” (The Guardian- UK), “It doesn’t even take three minutes to realize that this series is setting standards” (Der Tagesspiegel-Germany).
Weeds revolves around Nancy Botwin (Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Mary–Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. Over the course of the show, she and her family become more entangled in illegal activities. The series also stars Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, Justin Kirk and Hunter Parrish. Weeds is produced by Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions.
Damages centers on the brilliant, ruthless lawyer, Patty Hewes (Emmy® winner Glenn Close), her protégée, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), and their law firm. Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on, while also examining a chapter of the complicated relationship between Ellen and Patty. The series also stars Ted Danson, William Hurt, Lily Tomlin and Martin Short. Damages is produced by KZK Productions, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television.
The Straits revolves around The Montebello Family whose family business includes smuggling drugs, guns and exotic wildlife. When patriarch Harry (Brian Cox) starts to plan his succession, a power struggle is sparked between brother and brother, wife and daughter. Under attack from rival families, the Montebellos must hold together through torture, assassination and imprisonment. Producedby Penny Chapman and Helen Pankhurst, The Straits is from Matchbox Pictures for ABC Australia, Screen Australia, Screen Queeensland, Screen NSW and Screen Tasmania.
The Slap traces the shattering repercussions of a single event upon a group of family and friends. It is a searing and controversial portrait of middle-class life and the mores and morality that shape modern, multicultural Australia. The series stars Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Doctor Who) and Jonathan La Paglia (Cold Case, Bones). The Slap is from Matchbox Pictures for ABC Australia, Screen Australia, Film Victoria and DCD Rights.
Bellflower / England (Writer/Director: Evan Glodell ) – Two friends spend their time building flamethrowers and other weapons in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang, Mother Medusa. While waiting for the destruction to commence, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrating into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, and extreme violence more devastating than any of their apocalyptic fantasies. Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes.
The Myth of the American Sleepover / England (Writer/Director: David Robert Mitchell ) – Set against the backdrop of mile-long roads, neighbourhood blocks, abandoned factories and lakes which make up Metro-Detroit, this story follows four young people as they search for love and adventure on the last night of summer. Maggie, Rob, Claudia and Scott cross paths as they explore the suburban wonderland chasing first kisses, elusive crushes, popularity and parties. They are looking for the iconic teenage experience, but instead they discover the quiet moments that will later become the part of their youth that they look back on with nostalgia. Cast: Claire Sloma, Marlon Morton, Amanda Bauer, Brett Jacobsen.
About Sundance Channel
Dedicated to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of high-quality independent films, documentaries and original programs. In addition to being widely distributed throughout North America, Sundance Channel is available throughout Europe and Asia. Owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel is a highly recognizable and magnetic brand that is available in HD and across multiple platforms.
About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCX) owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates AMC/Sundance Channel Global, an international programming business, and AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, a full-service network programming origination and distribution company.