MGM Worldwide Television and Trilogy Entertainment Group enter exclusive, multiyear television deal.
The exclusive agreement calls for the development and production of a broad spectrum of product, including television series for network, pay cable and first-run syndication; mini-series; movies-of- the-week; and animation.
The deal was precipitated by the success the companies have shared with such popular ongoing television series as ``The Outer Limits'' and ``Poltergeist: The Legacy,'' as well as the production of the highly anticipated fall '97 series for syndication, ``FAME L.A.,'' and Trilogy's new western series, ``The Magnificent Seven,'' for the CBS network.
Under the terms of the agreement, which runs for three years, MGM Worldwide Television and Trilogy Television are already committed to produce and develop seven projects which will encompass more than $100 million in production.
``This agreement is a defining moment in the ongoing revival of MGM Television,'' said Symes. ``It also represents our willingness to reward our creative partners and demonstrates a keen determination on our part to hold onto valuable creative relationships that we have developed over the last three years, and hope to continue to cultivate in the future.''
``The success of `The Outer Limits' and `Poltergeist: The Legacy' has proven that a feature-film sensibility can successfully translate into television production,'' noted Richard B. Lewis, a partner in Trilogy Entertainment Group, whose feature films have grossed nearly $700 million worldwide since 1991.
``We're tremendously excited about going into production with this ambitious slate, to continue presenting out-of-this-world sci-fi and supernatural shows, as well as introduce our new music- driven and western series.''
Highlighting Trilogy Television's new ``magnificent seven'' are:
-- ``The Magnificent Seven,'' a two-hour pilot for CBS created by Trilogy partners Pen Densham and John Watson, and executive produced by Watson, Lewis and Densham along with The Mirisch Corp., producer of the original ``The Magnificent Seven.''
The two-hour pilot has a broadcast commitment on the CBS network, which will mark the return of MGM Television to network television production for the first time in six years. Principal photography begins March 31.
-- The highly anticipated series ``FAME L.A.,'' created by Trilogy partner Lewis, launches into production May 12, having received a 44- episode commitment, as well as registered unprecedented response in the market place for its fall 1997 debut.
Continuing where the Academy Award-nominated '80s film left off, ``FAME L.A.'' follows the struggle of young talents outside the classroom trying to succeed in the world's entertainment capital, Hollywood.
-- In Trilogy and MGM's first foray into mini-series television, they have jointly announced a four-hour major event mini-series for ABC, ``White Shark,'' based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, ``White Shark.'' Written by ``Seaquest'' creator Rockne O'Bannon, ``White Shark'' anticipates principal photography beginning in late spring.
-- Also for ABC is the two-hour television movie, ``The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,'' a remake of the popular 1974 motion picture which starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. Television writer (``Cagney & Lacey'') and novelist (``North of Montana'') April Smith has taken on scripting duties. Principal photography is anticipated to begin in early summer.
-- ``Crusoe Circus,'' an animated children's fantasy adventure created by Trilogy partner Densham, inspired by ``The Swiss Family Robinson'' and written by Garry Williams.
-- ``The Outer Limits,'' the hugely popular sci-fi anthology series created by Trilogy, serves as the foundation for MGM Worldwide Television's ground-breaking business model comprising pay television sell-throughs and syndication clearances.
``The Outer Limits'' has received the 1995 and 1996 CableACE Award for Best Dramatic Series in only its first two years, as well as a total of 13 other nominations. Airing both on the Showtime Network and shortly thereafter in national syndication, the series has been extended for a total of 88 episodes and continues to receive rave reviews since its premiere in 1995.
-- ``Poltergeist: The Legacy,'' created by Trilogy partner Lewis, debuts its second season March 9 on the Showtime Network. Emmy and Golden Globe winner Daniel J. Travanti has joined the cast for the second season of the supernatural series as the head of the new Legacy team.
Trilogy Television, headed by President of Production Mark Stern, will oversee all television production for Trilogy Entertainment Group, which will continue to focus on feature-film production.
As one of the pre-eminent independent production companies of the '90s, Trilogy, led by Hollywood maverick independent producers Lewis, Watson and Densham, burst onto the motion-picture scene with two films, ``Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'' and ``Backdraft,'' which garnered four Academy Award nominations and a major theme park attraction at Universal Studios.
Subsequent features include ``Blown Away,'' ``Moll Flanders'' and ``Larger Than Life.'' Together, Trilogy's motion pictures have generated nearly $700 million in worldwide revenue.
MGM Worldwide Television handles television production and domestic television distribution for Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Inc. Its programming line-up includes ``The Outer Limits,'' ``Poltergeist: The Legacy,'' ``LAPD: Life on the Beat,'' ``All Dogs Go To Heaven: The Series'' and ``FAME L.A.'' (for fall '97), as well as mini-series, made-for-television movies and the upcoming series, ``Stargate SG-1.''
The division operates its own barter company, MGM Advertiser Sales, and distributes its syndicated programming through MGM Domestic Television Distribution.
Metro-Goldwyn Mayer is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive software, music, licensed merchandise, a 1,600-title film library, a 4,500-title home-video library and a significant television library.
The company's operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Pictures, MGM Domestic Television, MGM Worldwide Television, MGM Telecommunications Group, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Home Entertainment, MGM Interactive and MGM Consumer Products, among others.
For more information on MGM, visit the Lion's Den at http://www.mgmua.com
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