Network Commissions Seven Full-Length Episodes Based On Critically-Acclaimed,
Uber Controversial UK TV Shorts Co-Created by BLUR Drummer Dave Rowntree
Sneak Preview Episode Airs Saturday, December 24th at Midnight (ET)
Series Premieres First Quarter of 2006
New York, NY (December 19, 2005) – fuse, the nation's only music-centric, viewer driven television network, announced today that viewers will enjoy first-ever original full-length episodes of British TV's critically-acclaimed, convention-shattering cartoon shorts, EMPIRE SQUARE. The series created for American television, focuses on three foul-mouthed stars – Rabbit, Hooks and the Tourette's-suffering, wanna-be-rockstar Richie, and takes place in the fictional location of Empire Square. With a taste for bizarre "get rich quick" schemes and ever-elusive music superstardom, this trio of lovably anti-social, wholly-demented animated characters will bring their biting, social commentary to America on Christmas Eve.
The seven half-hour episode slate created exclusively for fuse, by UK-based company Outside Line, will debut with a special preview show on December 24 at Midnight (ET). The official weekly series is scheduled to premiere in the first quarter of 2006. The series, co-created by Dave Rowntree, drummer for mega-selling British superstars BLUR, and music industry insiders Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons, was originally intended to showcase the characters via mobile based technology. The pixilated, retro animation-style-reminiscent of Sega Consoles of the '80s – combined with the bizarre story lines, caught the attention of executives at Britain's Channel 4. The network commissioned a series of three-minute episodes which became a hit attraction of its late-night music programming block in early 2005.
"Empire Square reinforces fuse's commitment to expanding its original programming," said Andrea Greenberg, President of Rainbow Media Ventures. "We think Empire Square will undoubtedly resonate with our hip, young adult viewers. The series embraces the spirit of today's animated hits such as South Park and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and incorporates the edgy, snarky fuse spin which pushes the envelope and pokes fun at music, celebrities and society."
Come early December, viewers will get a taste of what's to come as 20-second to three-minute shorts begin appearing on the network in between programming. To support the launch, fuse is initiating an aggressive marketing campaign in the top 25 markets with promo spots airing in over 200 theatres representing 750 screens. In addition, fuse has partnered with f.y.e. retail stores nationwide which will run Empire Square teasers in stores and also distribute postcards to over 85,000 purchasers from coast to coast. On the grassroots front, college and high school street teams will plaster specially designed Empire Square toilet paper across bathrooms, dorm rooms and school facilities across the country. fuse will also distribute a holiday e-card to over 150,000 individuals and 125,000 CD Rom teaser-trailers to high school students which, when finished, will redirect the consumer to the fuse.tv/empiresquare website.
fuse will continue its mission to interact with its viewers beyond the linear network and individuals can expect to find Empire Square across multiple platforms. In the first quarter of 2006, fuse.tv will offer streaming mini-episodes and downloadable content such as screensavers, ringtones and wallpapers to be made available for computers and cell phones. Finally, fuseMobile will offer clips of Empire Square and fuse OnDemand will provide full episodes. These multi-platform offerings reinforce fuse's commitment to expand its reach with its audience.
fuse is the nation's only music-centric, viewer-influenced television network, featuring music videos, exclusive artist interviews, live concerts and specials – all rooted in the music experience. fuse reflects the rapidly changing interests and attitudes of its 12-34 year-old audience by uniting the media platforms at the center of their communication and entertainment – TV, Web, mobile technologies and interactive gaming and by incorporating their opinions and suggestions into the network's on-air and online programming. More information about fuse is available at www.fuse.tv.
About Outside Line, creators of Empire Square
Founded in 2000 by Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons, Outside Line is a digital agency specializing in music and entertainment. Over the past five years, the company has grown from 2 to upwards of 30 employees, working closely with high-profile clients such as The Beatles, Coldplay, Radiohead, Nelly, Robbie Williams, U2 and others on creative/marketing campaigns. In early 2001, the company forged a creative partnership with Dave Rowntree of Blur to produce and develop the original animation series Empire Square.