LOS ANGELES, REDMOND, Wash., and DENVER — July 26, 2006 — Today, Fox Entertainment Group, MSN, HDNet and G4 announced that America’s funniest dysfunctional family will get a second shot at enduring fame with the complete three-season (53 episodes) of the award-winning comedy, “Arrested Development” available soon online on hi-def TV and on basic cable.
“We’re thrilled that this groundbreaking, critically acclaimed show will find an entirely new audience through a complementary array of platforms — from rich media, to hi-def TV to cable,” said Peter Levinsohn, president of Fox Digital Media. “The aftermarket for high-end content is exploding right now, and we’re actively developing this exciting new arena with partners like MSN, HDNet and G4.”
Produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine Entertainment, the multiple award-winning “Arrested Development” ran for three years on FOX and was one of the most celebrated comedies in the network’s history. It revolves around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), who is doing his best to pick up the pieces and keep his offbeat family from falling apart after his father, George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor), is locked up for fraud.
“This studio has led the industry in producing content for digital media, from our mobisode series to our DVD prequels to the vast array of wireless applications inspired by our shows,” commented Twentieth Century Fox Television Presidents Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “‘Arrested Development’ is exactly the right property to roll out on these exciting new media platforms. It’s a win for both the loyal and passionate fans who adored the show during its network run and the millions more who will now have the chance to discover its genius.”
MSN will have the exclusive portal rights to syndicate the show for a three-year term, making this critically acclaimed series available to the masses for the first time online. As part of the pact, MSN will produce and launch a new range of interactive entertainment elements to build a community for Bluth family fans, who are ferocious in their devotion to the hilarious, suddenly penniless and equally clueless clan. Later this year, all episodes of “Arrested Development” will be streamed on MSN® Video and available on demand at no cost to MSN customers. Advertising opportunities associated with the online syndication of the series include display and streaming video plus sponsorship packages incorporating MSN media and in-content integration.
“On TV, ‘Arrested Development’ created an incredibly passionate and dedicated fan base, and we’re thrilled to bring this series to the global MSN audience,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Video and Entertainment Services for MSN. “Our collaboration with Fox Entertainment Group further demonstrates MSN’s commitment to being the best source of great entertainment content online.”
HDNet will have exclusive HD television access to the series for three years. The leader in high-definition broadcasting, HDNet will begin airing “Arrested Development” episodes in September on its network, which is available through both cable and satellite platforms. HDNet produces a slate of original series and has licensing deals with a number of entertainment providers as well.
“We’re very excited to add ‘Arrested Development’ to our lineup of critically acclaimed, high-definition programming,” said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. “Our mission is to offer exclusive, award-winning shows that our viewers can and have grown emotionally attached to and that further extend HDNet’s lead as the network for television like you have never seen before!”
G4, the fastest-growing network for 2006 and the No. 1 podcasted network in the country, targets the male 18–34 audience. It has acquired the basic cable rights for the series for three years, which it will begin airing in October 2006.
G4 President Neal Tiles added, “Irreverence, cleverness and a wry sense of humor are all key attributes the G4 brand shares with ‘Arrested Development.’ This is a perfect fit with our audience’s sensibility.”
About Fox Entertainment Group
Fox Entertainment Group (FEG) is a unit of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A). It is principally engaged in the development, production and worldwide distribution of feature films and television programs, television broadcasting and cable network programming. The Company’s studios, production facilities and film and television library provide high-quality creative content, and the Company’s broadcasting and cable networks provide extensive distribution platforms for the Company’s programs. Fox Digital Media is a division of FEG dedicated to setting distribution strategy and licensing programming from all FEG divisions to new, digital outlets.
About MSN Video
MSN video is one of the largest video-only streaming services on the Web, watched by more than 11 million unique users per month. In addition to streaming news, entertainment and sports video clips from more than 45 content partners, MSN Video presents a broad array of live events to online audiences worldwide. More than 50 top advertisers support MSN Video, which is available to consumers at no charge. MSN Video is available on the Web at http://msnvideo.com to consumers in the U.S. MSN Video is also live in Australia, Canada and Japan, and in Spanish in the U.S.; the service also is beta testing in the U.K.
HDNet (www.hd.net) provides viewers with the best in original comedy, drama, news, sports and music programming.
HDNet is your exclusive, high-definition home for popular, critically acclaimed original programming including television’s only HD news feature programs “HDNet World Report,” “NASA on HDNet” (presenting live shuttle launches through 2010), and, beginning in October, “Dan Rather Reports.” HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, NASCAR Grand National Division and Mixed Martial Arts including World Extreme Cagefighting and the Diesel Fighting Championships: groundbreaking music programming with the HDNet Concern Series featuring leading artists and bands including U2, Eminem, Gorillaz and more, plus original music programs “Sound Off with Matt Pinfield.” “True Music w/Katie Daryl” and “On Stage at World Café Live;” groundbreaking interview shows including “Face 2 Face with Roy Firestone” and “Higher Definition,” in addition to fun and irreverent lifestyle programming including “Deadline!”, “Art Mann Present,” and “Get Out!” HDNet is also the exclusive high-definition home to the critically acclaimed and award winning programs such as “Dead Like Me,” “Smallville,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “Boomtown” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.”
HDNet Movies feature a wide selection of major studio theatrical releases — all uncut, unedited and appearing in their original aspect ratio so that HDNet viewers get the best possible home theater experience. The HDNetworks are available on Adelphia, Bright House, Charter, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable and more than 40 NCTC Cable affiliate companies.
G4, the fastest growing network on television for 2006, launched in April 2002 and is now available in 57 million cable and satellite homes nationwide. The number one podcasted cable network in America and a leader in VOD, G4’s programming includes breaking video game industry news, trends, reviews, the hottest games and gear, celebrity interviews and insider opinions. Targeting the male 18–34 audience, G4 is the last word on games, technology, animation, interactivity, the Internet and broadband. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and is owned by Comcast Corporation. To learn more, log onto www.g4tv.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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