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ABC Family to Present Cable Premieres of Hit Feature Films in Deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution


March 20, 2006, ABC Family has acquired a slate of movies that will make their cable premieres on the network in a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution (WBDCD) featuring 2006 Oscar®-nominee Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, the new Christmas classic, The Polar Express, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp and two films from the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it was announced today by Paul Lee, president, ABC Family and Eric Frankel, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.

“We are thrilled with these acquisitions,” said Lee. “We own the holidays with our branded programming events, ’13 Nights of Halloween’ and ’25 Days of Christmas,’ and these two films are additions that fit perfectly.”

“ABC Family has become a destination for viewers with its great programming during the holidays, and year-around for that matter,” added Frankel. “We are very pleased to be continuing our unique relationship as a major program supplier of such hit series as Smallville, Gilmore Girls, Full House and Whose Line as well as the majority of specials in their ’25 Days of Christmas’ and now a raft of box office hit films.”

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride will be making its television premiere during ABC Family’s eighth annual “13 Nights of Halloween,” October 19-31, programming event. With Burton’s unique dark vision, Corpse Bride follows the tale of Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp) who, on the eve of marrying his true love Victoria (voiced by Emily Watson), gets dragged to the underworld where he mistakenly marries a corpse bride (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter). This fantastical stop-animation movie brings Victor on an amazing quest to undo wrongs and let true love prevail.

The basic cable television premiere of The Polar Express will occur during ABC Family’s ninth annual “25 Days of Christmas,” December 1-25, programming event. Based on the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, directed by Robert Zemeckis, with all leading characters voiced by Tom Hanks, The Polar Express tells the story of a young boy who is beginning to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. Led by a mysterious train conductor (also Tom Hanks), the boy is whisked away on an adventure filled train ride to the North Pole to be shown the wonder of Christmas. The broadcast television premiere of the movie will be on the ABC Television Network.

Also making its basic cable premiere on ABC Family will be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. In Tim Burton’s take on the classic Roald Dahl classic novel, a young boy named Charlie (Highmore) finds all of his dreams come true when he finds one of the most sought after “Golden Tickets” and gets an exclusive tour inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. With Wonka (Depp) as his guide, Charlie finds a colorful and wondrous world inside the mysterious factory filled with Oompa-Loompa’s, chocolate rivers and nut-cracking squirrels.

The deal also includes the basic cable premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2006 and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2008, both for exclusive five year windows. The ABC Television Network will have the broadcast television premiere of the Harry Potter movies, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In addition, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Cinderella Story and Looney Tunes: Back in Action will also join ABC Family’s programming library as basic cable premieres.

Distributed in 89 million homes, ABC Family features original movies, series and specials. Programming that is reflective of today’s families – with all of their diversity, dysfunction, humor and passion.


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