AMC’s “Into Character” Brings Movie Dreams to Life

New Half-Hour Series Premieres June 16 at 10:00 PM ET/PT

JERICHO, NEW YORK, May 19, 2004 — Everyone has a favorite movie scene that resonates in a deeply personal way. AMC’s new-half hour series, INTO CHARACTER, taps into that passion by offering some lucky movie fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live out their film fantasies. The AMC original series premieres on Wednesday, June 16 at 10:00 PM ET/PT.

Whether their dream is to hit the definitive home run like Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) in THE NATURAL; to sing like Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) in LA BAMBA; or to engage in DIRTY DANCING like Baby and Johnny (Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey); INTO CHARACTER features real people who are determined to do the hard work necessary to bring about their own “happy ending.”

Show participants are not actors playing a role and certainly are not taught how to “act.” They must actually morph INTO CHARACTER over a two-week transformation period, which deeply immerses them into all aspects of the scene. Whether the challenge entails joining a gospel choir for Sunday church to understand the origin of blues for the BLUES BROTHERS; descending a half-mile into a working coal mine for COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER; traveling to Mexico to learn the cultural meaning of LA BAMBA; carving your own baseball bat for THE NATURAL; or gaining respect for the ice from the unique perspective of a Zamboni driver for ICE CASTLES, INTO CHARACTER provides a new depth of experience and insight into some of the most magical moments in film for both the participants and the viewers.

From Gold Medalists to Grammy Winners, from coalminers to woodcarvers, from Appalachia all the way to Okinawa, INTO CHARACTER trains, transport and transforms its subjects “into character” utilizing a collection of exceptional world class “masters.”

“AMC viewers are passionate about the movies,” notes Robert Sorcher, Senior Vice President, Programming, Packaging and Production, AMC. “INTO CHARACTER taps into that passion as it illustrates the very personal journey and ultimate transformation of each participant.”

“Give us two weeks and we’ll bring your film fantasy to life,” explains Riaz Patel, creator and executive producer, who defines the show as a “hyper-reality series that brings larger-than-life to real life by exploring the transforming and defining impact that movie characters can have on real people.”

INTO CHARACTER debuts on June 16, 2004, with ROCKY. Overweight and pushed around as a boy, Nate Rubin drew inner strength and inspiration from his cinematic hero, the long shot underdog, Rocky Balboa, a character that wanted one chance to “go the distance.” Now Nate, a lifelong boxing fan who has never actually stepped into a ring, is going to get that shot. With a former world champion in his corner, Nate will train intensively to transform himself into Rocky, right down to the South Philadelphia swagger. But does he have it in him to go three rounds for real in front of hundreds of boxing fans at Philadelphia’s Legendary Blue Horizon?
Nate embarks on an unforgettable journey, and learns what it takes – and what it feels like – to be a champion.

In other episodes, a man whose dreams of playing big league baseball were sidetracked by personal tragedy will get a second chance at this first dream when he steps into Roy Hobbs’ (Robert Redford) shoes at the bottom of the ninth in the defining moment of THE NATURAL. In ICE CASTLES, a female ice hockey player and coach will learn poise and grace in order to pull off a figure skating routine in front of hundreds of fans — and ultimately feel like an Olympian. In order to dance like Baby and Johnny in DIRTY DANCING, a couple has to move with dancers’ grace, but also to “feel attractive” and light up a room.

INTO CHARACTER is executive produced by Riaz Patel of Axial Entertainment for AMC.

AMC, a division of Rainbow Media’s Entertainment Services, which also includes WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 86,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. Over the past three years, AMC has garnered many of the industry’s highest honors, including eight Emmy awards. AMC is “TV for movie people.”

A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). Rainbow Media owns and manages national networks: AMC, Fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women’s Entertainment; as well as the on-demand services: Mag Rack, Uncensored On Demand, World Picks On Demand and World Picks Networks. Rainbow Media’s other businesses include its regional programming services – MetroChannels, News 12 Networks and Rainbow Sports Networks – in addition to the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow Media is also a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net.

All Times Eastern/Pacific.

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