Uncut Network Acquires WITCHBLADE, SPEED GRAPHER and HELL GIRL from FUNimation Entertainment
New York, NY, December 10, 2007 – IFC announced today the addition of three all-new Japanese anime series to its growing 2008 programming slate. Acquired from FUNimation Entertainment, the three series will premiere throughout the year beginning with the January debut of WITCHBLADE, based on the world famous comic book series of the same name. In March, the network will premiere SPEED GRAPHER, a stylish futuristic action series, followed later in the year by HELL GIRL, a supernatural thriller. These acquired series build on IFC’s prior success with anime programming, including the 2007 hit series Samurai 7, Basilisk, and Gunslinger Girl. The new series are a reflection of the network’s commitment to unique and uncut content, and its focus on providing a voice for independent culture.
“Over the past two years, our partnership with FUNimation has given IFC the best anime on television. This new lineup of bold, original anime programming takes us to a whole new level,” stated Evan Shapiro, General Manager of IFC. “These three new series add to an already incredible slate of premieres for 2008 – from our powerful original non-fiction projects to our innovative, uncut comedy series – and continues our focus on the unique content that makes IFC the voice of independent culture.”
“The success of our series on IFC is proof of the growing popularity of Japanese animation around the world,” said Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment. “With IFC we can continue to give entertainment fans access to the best anime programming direct from Japan.”
Following are descriptions of the three anime series:
- WITCHBLADE – (24 episodes) Premieres January 2008
The world famous comic book is now an animated series. From the renowned anime studio GONZO, in collaboration with comic book publisher Top Cow Productions, comes the saga of a woman who must bear the burden of a terrible force of destruction known as the Witchblade. Building on the foundation of the original comic series, the anime series goes into the future to tell the tale of a new bearer of the Witchblade, and the conspiracy that surrounds her burden.
- SPEED GRAPHER – (24 episodes) Premieres March 2008
A stylish futuristic action series, Speed Grapher is full of intensity, forbidden lust and conspiracy. It’s been over a decade since the Bubble War, when the global economy burst. While the rich got richer, the poor were out of luck. Welcome to Tokyo, where all the rich and wicked rule, and money will buy you anything your sick mind can dream up. Enter the Club, a secret society pandering to the ultra-rich and fulfilling their every desire – legal or otherwise. Speed Grapher follows a tabloid photographer who is sent to infiltrate the underground elite and stumbles upon the depravity and a tragic young girl.
- HELL GIRL – (26 episodes) Premieres 2008
Hell Girl is a supernatural thriller from Aniplex. According to urban myths, a mysterious website exists, accessible only at midnight. Post the name of someone against whom you hold a grudge and Hell Girl will carry out your revenge and send that person’s soul to hell. However, vengeance has a price as those who accept a contract with Hell Girl must be ferried to hell when they die.
IFC is the only brand to operate in every area of independent film to include television, production, financing, distribution, digital, On Demand and exhibition. IFC uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC is comprised of: The Independent Film Channel (IFC), the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent culture, 24 hours a day, uncut, and uncensored; and IFC Entertainment, a division that owns and manages IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.
About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation? Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Navarre Corporation ((NASDAQ: NAVR), is the leading company for home entertainment sales of Japanese animation in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights with its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, Internet, home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, please visit www.funimation.com.