October 7, 2008
Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Magic Set to Make U.S. Debut on ION Television
ION Television, the "Positively Entertaining" general entertainment network available to over 94 million homes, and RHI Entertainment, the leader in the production and distribution of groundbreaking movies, miniseries and series for television, today announced the U.S. debut of The Color of Magic, a four-hour original production making its television premiere on ION Television on Sunday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The miniseries will be broadcast in its entirety in one evening.
Based on the first two books in best-selling author Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series, The Color of Magic stars Oscar nominee Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Toy Soldiers, Rudy), Emmy nominee Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Kinsey) and Sir David Jason (RHI's Hogfather). Additionally, Emmy Award-winning actor Brian Cox (Bourne trilogy, Running with Scissors) serves as the narrator and Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars Episodes II and III) takes on the vocal role of Death.
Discworld, a magical realm, has got its first tourist! Rincewind (Sir David Jason), an incompetent and cynical wizardry student, has recently been expelled from Unseen University and been given the task of guiding Twoflower (Sean Astin) through the city state of Ankh Morpork. The two are forced to flee the city after a terrible fire and are sent on a fantastical journey across the Disc, which is unknowingly being controlled by a board game played by the Gods. Along the way
Rincewind encounters a few problems: firstly, as an expert coward, he doesn't feel he's the best person to guard a naive - and extremely rich, by local standards - tourist through one of the roughest cities in the multiverse. Then, of course, Rincewind experiences a vicious and bloody struggle with his arch-enemy, the power-hungry maniac Trymon (Tim Curry). Oh, and the world is coming to an end. Can Rincewind defeat his nemesis and save Discworld from ultimate destruction?
This critically acclaimed mini-series, which first debuted overseas, received rave reviews from the British press. TV Easy called it "visually stunning"; "Menacing performances from Tim Curry and Jeremy Irons are great." - TV Times; "With a starry cast, it's a wild adventure through a land full of magic and mystery." - TV Choice; "The two-part adventure will have you spellbound." - We Love Telly; and "It's the Lord of the Rings with a comic twist." - Bella.
"Originals such as The Color of Magic are invigorating ION Television," said Brandon Burgess, Chairman and CEO of ION Media Networks. "We are thrilled to provide compelling productions, airing alongside proven hit series, as we continue to build an entertaining network geared at the adult 25-54 audience."
"Major productions such as The Color of Magic are rapidly making the RHI movies on ION synonymous with must-see television," said Robert Halmi Jr., President and CEO of RHI Entertainment. "As we continue to deliver the finest in original event programming, awareness keeps growing and viewership keeps building."
As one of the most popular authors today, Terry Pratchett has sold nearly 55 million books worldwide. Also based on another of Mr. Pratchett's Discworld novels, RHI's hit miniseries Hogfather aired on ION Television in November 2007. With a fan base spreading around the globe, the series of 36 Discworld books has been translated into over 35 languages.
Attracting over a million viewers, The Color of Magic first broadcast on Sky One, a UK entertainment TV channel, in March of 2008. The two-part television adaptation was well received by fans, garnering Sky One's highest performing program to date and scoring the largest audiences for the network since Hogfather aired in December of 2006.
The Color of Magic was filmed at London's legendary Pinewood Studios. The film was produced by Ian Sharples and Rod Brown and directed by Vadim Jean, who also directed RHI's Hogfather. RHI's Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. serve as executive producers on the project.
About ION Television
ION Television (www.iontelevision.com) is a general entertainment network which reaches over 94 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Launched in 2006, ION Television features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of RHI Entertainment, CBS Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros. Parent company, ION Media Networks, Inc., owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group. Using its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched the digital TV brands qubo, a channel for children focusing on literacy and values, and ION Life, a channel dedicated to active living and personal growth. It also has launched Open Mobile Ventures Corporation (OMVION), a business unit focused on the research and development of portable, mobile and out-of-home transmission technology using over-the-air digital television spectrum. For more information, visit www.ionmedia.com.
About RHI Entertainment
RHI Entertainment (NASDAQ: RHIE) develops, produces and distributes new made-for-television movies, miniseries and other television programming worldwide, and is the leading provider of new long-form television content in the United States. Under the leadership of Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., RHI has produced and distributed thousands of hours of quality television programming, and RHI's productions have received more than 100 Emmy Awards. During 2007, RHI developed, produced and distributed 43 new television movies and miniseries to broadcast and cable networks around the world. In addition to the development, production and distribution of new content, RHI owns rights to approximately 1,000 titles, or over 3,500 broadcast hours of long-form television programming, which are licensed to broadcast and cable networks and new media outlets globally. For more consumer information visit www.rhitv.com.
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