Press Release #23 (2/4/09)
iN DEMAND NETWORKS TO OFFER THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING, MULTIPLE TONY AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY SHOW, RENT: FILMED LIVE ON BROADWAY TO MILLIONS OF TELEVISION HOMES ON CABLE PAY-PER-VIEW AND VIDEO ON DEMAND
The Iconic Musical That Evoked an Era and Introduced Broadway to a New Generation is Captured on Film Before its Closing Performance
New York, NY, Feb. 4 - iN DEMAND Networks and Sony Pictures Television have concluded an agreement to offer the smash hit Broadway musical RENT:Filmed Live on Broadway, to cable subscribers in the United States in both standard and high definition (HD) formats as a Pay-Per-View (PPV) big event, followed by a Video on Demand (VOD) run. Premiering on Saturday, February 7 at 9 pm ET, the Broadway show that captivated audiences for 12 years on Broadway will make its PPV television debut. Filmed in New York's Nederlander Theatre shortly before the play closed last September and featuring footage from the show's final Broadway performance, this telecast captures the electricity and colorful authenticity of the original stage production that played to sold out houses. The show, along with extra behind-the-scenes video content, will air via PPV from Feb. 7 - 17 and then be available on VOD beginning on Feb. 18.
This production of RENT:Filmed Live on Broadway, a rock opera inspired by Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme but set in today's gritty vernacular with modern musical idioms, stars Adam Kantor, Justin Johnston, Renee Goldsberry and Will Chase. RENT was a labor of love, created and written by Jonathan Larson over the course of several years, inspired by the denizens of NYC's bohemian lower east side where he lived. It is an intimate journey through a single year in the lives of a small circle of friends and artists, living their dreams. Inherent in the story is the struggle against the establishment, youthful exuberance and creativity and living under the specter of AIDS. Tragically, the night before its off-Broadway opening, Larson died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart ailment. The show went on to a long Broadway run which spawned worldwide touring companies and a Hollywood film. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, four Tony Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, three Obie Awards, reams of critical acclaim and the hearts of audiences everywhere. A foundation to support promising musical artists was created in Larson's name.
"Fans who want to see the original musical RENT, who never got to Broadway, or who just want to relive the experience and share it with others will find this special event very satisfying," said Thanda Belker, senior vice president, pay television sales, Sony Pictures Television.
"This iconic Broadway show embodies a musical and cultural generation in a way that nothing has since "Hair" in the 1960s. It is with great pride that we bring the original musical show into nearly 40 million cable homes," said David Asch, Executive Vice President, iN DEMAND Networks. "This event is another example of how on demand and high-definition television technologies can help make the excitement, vivid sound and exquisite picture quality of live entertainment available to cable viewers with just a click of their remotes."
RENT:Filmed Live on Broadway is produced by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The video production is directed by Michael John Warren. It was originally directed for the stage by Michael Greif. In addition to the full show, viewers will be able to access about a half hour of bonus material which is an exclusive behind-the-scenes feature about RENT's final days on Broadway. The total running time is three hours including the extra content.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication and digital distribution. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN and is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile and manages the studio's video website, Crackle. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
About iN DEMAND Networks
iN DEMAND Networks is the pioneer and world leader in providing exciting entertainment delivered through television's most innovative technologies. iN DEMAND creates and delivers programming through three distinct areas of business: Pay-Per-View (PPV), Video-On-Demand (VOD) and high definition (HD) programming. PPV programming includes movies, mega boxing and mixed martial arts events and the digital out-of-market subscription sports packages for MLB, the NBA, the NHL and MLS. The company also offers a range of VOD products including first-run movies, original HD VOD content, and serves as the exclusive TV home of Howard Stern, via its Howard TV On Demand offering. iN DEMAND's owners are Comcast iN DEMAND Holdings, Inc., Cox Communications Holdings, Inc., and Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Further information about the company can be found at www.indemand.com.
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