Multiplatform Genre Entertainment Service Unleashes Programming Line-up; Adds Tuesday "Twisted Comedy" Block
LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- FEARnet, the world's premier destination for horror, thriller and suspense, announced today it has secured long-term carriage with Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and has begun its linear carriage rollout with Comcast.
With the new carriage agreements, FEARnet is now available on:
Time Warner Cable and Time Warner's VOD platform beginning in early May, with New York launching VOD on May 9 and both SD and HD linear on May 11
Verizon FiOS channel 197 nationwide, as well as on the pre-existing VOD offering
Comcast Channel 1865 HD, Channel 171 SD in Philadelphia as of April 12, along with VOD to Comcast's entire footprint under its pre-existing agreement
The FEARnet brand recently expanded to include FEARnet HD, a linear cable channel where horror, thriller and suspense fans will find more than over 300 movies a year including regularly scheduled world, broadcast and network premieres, as well as new series, and original interstitial content. The move to linear followed four years of incubation and growth on VOD where FEARnet has become the number one free movie service.
"Genre fans are the most passionate fans in the entertainment universe, and we are committed to giving them the best programming in the form of distinctive Original Series, new Television and Broadcast Premieres, Classic Films and creative Stunts," said Peter Block, FEARnet's President and General Manager. "In a very short window, the FEARnet launch team has secured an outstanding first batch of linear distribution partners, designed a great schedule, and really utilized our outreach into the Hollywood horror community for movies, commentary and on-camera fun. We're extremely grateful to the genre lovers nationwide who have taken the time to call their local television providers to request FEARnet."
These carriage agreements mark the first wave of an expansion that is expected to take FEARnet HD above 10 million U.S. homes within the next year, in addition to the existing 26 million VOD households. FEARnet is also working with distributors on TV Everywhere initiatives which include streaming of FEARnet's linear channel along with hundreds of hours of VOD content to authenticated customers.
"The early MSO enthusiasm for the linear channel confirms our belief that there is an unsatisfied hunger for FEARnet's distinct and proven programming approach to genre entertainment," said Ron Garfield, FEARnet's Chief Revenue Officer. "As we move through 2011, expect to see FEARnet available in more markets from more providers, and grow into fans' number one destination for everything genre."
Building on the foundation of its deep library of movies, FEARnet has begun to establish new genre content franchises online, on VOD and on linear. Moving forward, FEARnet content will be accessible on a combination of the three platforms.
"Twisted Comedy" is FEARnet HD's brand-new horror-comedy block launching this summer with a distinctive pair of scripted series:
"Todd and the Book of Pure Evil" (Tuesdays at 10 p.m., starting August 2, 2011) – This supernatural comedy featuring Jason Mewes ("Mallrats," "Clerks," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back") tells the story of a small-town high school kid trying to save the world. In each episode, Todd and his cohorts are pitted against the dark powers of a mysterious book that grants seemingly innocuous wishes with sinister, unexpected, cataclysmic, and downright satanic side effects. Created by Craig David Wallace, Charles Picco, and Anthony Leo, the series was highly-successful in its Canadian television debut. FEARnet.com will also feature "Todd and the Book of Pure Evil" extras and related editorial content.
"Psychoville" (Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m., starting August 2, 2011) – This award-winning British black comedy thriller series centers on a group of characters haunted by a mysterious blackmailer. Written by and starring Reece Shearsmith ("The League of Gentlemen," "Shaun of the Dead") and Steve Pemberton ("The League of Gentlemen," "Doctor Who"), "Psychoville" is the only comedy ever to feature a serial-killer obsessed man-child, a one-handed clown, a blind tycoon, and a possibly telekinetic dwarf. "Psychoville" debuted to great fan reception on BBC Two, earning the prestigious British Comedy Award for "Best New TV Comedy." In addition to the half-hour episodes on FEARnet HD, fans will find bonus show material at FEARnet.com.
"Girl Number 9," a six-part thriller created by Dan Turner and James Moran ("Torchwood," "Doctor Who"), tells the terrifying story of a cop's race against time to save his own daughter from a serial killer. The series stars Joe Absolom ("Doc Martin," "Personal Affairs"), Gareth David-Lloyd ("Torchwood"), and Tracy-Ann Oberman ("Doctor Who," "Eastenders"). Six intriguing five-minute episodes are slated to debut on FEARnet.com and VOD this summer.
"Post Mortem with Mick Garris" is FEARnet's signature interview series. It features one-on-one conversations between award-winning filmmaker Garris and the biggest names in genre entertainment. Recent episodes include interviews with William Friedkin and John Carpenter, and Rob Zombie, Guillermo del Toro and Tobe Hooper are slated for later in 2011. The revealing 30-minute episodes run on FEARnet HD and VOD, and are serialized into five-part series for the FEARnet.com audience.
FEARnet has secured movie deals with the major studios including Warner Bros., Paramount, Starz, BBC and E1 Entertainment in addition to the extensive collections from Sony and Lionsgate, to create a new FEARnet HD schedule with exciting blockbuster premieres, innovative treatments of classics and perennial fan favorite titles including "The Blair Witch Project," which will air exclusively commercial free on FEARnet HD during a Memorial Day (May 30th) marathon.
"Movies with More Brains" is a hosted, in-depth celebration of genre classics and fan favorites. Monthly guest hosts will present a number of films through original interstitial content that deepens the viewing experience whether you are seeing the movie for the first time or the fiftieth. Guest hosts include Angie Greenup ("It's Effin' Science") who will join Ryan Rotten (Shock Till You Drop) to present "Midnight Meat Train" starring Bradley Cooper on June 4th. Greenup will also present, along with Powerman 5000 lead singer Spider, "Blood Diner" on June 11th. Directors Adam Green ("Frozen") and Joe Lynch ("Wrong Turn 2") will team up on June 25th to bring audiences "The Gate."
"Sinister Sundays" will bring a terrifying close to the weekend every Sunday night starting at 8 p.m. This weekly movie event on FEARnet HD will include broadcast premieres, network premieres, and world premieres. "Sinister Sundays" kicked off on Sunday, April 10, 2011 and future "Sinister Sundays" include the world premiere of "30 Days of Night: Dark Days" on May 1st, the network premiere of "Quarantine" starring Jennifer Carpenter, and world premiere of "The Horseman" with Dennis Quaid.
FEARnet Special Events
Special themed FEARnet events throughout the year will celebrate the breadth and depth of outstanding genre content and creators in the FEARnet repertoire. The linear network will program themed days at least once each month, with cross-platform support from VOD and online. Among the subjects getting the FEARnet themed event treatment in 2011 are:
Authors Stephen King and Dean Koontz
Foreign Language Frights
So Real It's Scary (Documentaries)
Iconic franchises "Phantasm" and "Boogeyman"
Villains and Monsters of Infamy – Godzilla, Vampires, and Zombies
FEARnet will also bring fans the Halloween Spirit all year long through its relationship with "Trick 'r Treat" director Michael Dougherty. As the countdown to the genre's biggest night begins, FEARnet rolled out the first video in a series of vignettes from Dougherty that feature the film's signature character 'Sam' creating his iconic brand of mischief. In the video, 'Sam' disrupts a happy family's perfect Easter celebration in ways only he could do. More videos are scheduled to be released throughout 2011 around several holidays.
In July, FEARnet will continue its annual coverage of the "dark-side" of Comic-Con. From fan favorites to celebrity interviews, FEARnet renews its commitment to bring audiences anything and everything horror, thriller, dark fantasy, black comedy, and sci-fi from fandom's ground zero.
Last, but not least, no year in fear could ever be called complete without the Fiscal Fear-End. The Super Bowl of Scary. FEARtober, referred to by civilians and non-believers as "October," is the culmination of everything that's great about genre entertainment. Drawing on double movie marathons, outsized sweepstakes and promotions, unexpected guest stars, and more, each year the team at FEARnet strives to outdo the last year's FEARtober festivities with its widest-ever array of on-air, online and special programming and promotions. The month will conclude with a 24-hour marathon of "Trick 'r Treat," that was part of FEARnet HD's October 31, 2010 launch with the classic "The Exorcist."
FEARnet, the world's premier destination for horror, thriller and suspense, is a cutting-edge, multi-platform genre entertainment network available on linear, on demand, and online. Its unrivaled modern horror library unites Sony Pictures Television (SPT: US), Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the two top studios producing and distributing the genre, and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) (NASDAQ: CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services.
FEARnet has generated over 550 MM views, is the #1 Free Movie VOD network, and is available on AT&T U-Verse, Bresnan, Comcast, Cox Communications, Guadalupe Valley Systems, Insight Communications, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and Wyandotte Municipal Services. FEARnet launched its traditional cable channel in HD October 31, 2010 and is available on Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and Wyandotte Municipal Services. www.FEARnet.com is the web's #1 site for genre fans, and PC Magazine named FEARnet.com among "The 15 Best Websites for Movie Fans" where users can explore the world of the macabre on a visually arresting video-rich environment packed with movies, news, interactive community features and fresh original content.
Before the launch of FEARnet, which has the #1 genre VOD and online services, horror, thriller and suspense fans were a huge, but woefully underserved niche audience in the cable and On Demand video marketplace. The popularity of the genre has attracted fiercely loyal fans whose huge ranks have consistently grown, even as other content trends have ebbed and flowed. Genre entertainment fans boast extremely attractive demographics and over-index for social media engagement, tech-savvy users and the highly coveted 18-34 demo. The fans have an almost even gender split, proving that the genre has widespread appeal. Geographically speaking, genre entertainment knows no bounds and FEARnet's audience is evenly distributed across the U.S., including urban, suburban and rural areas. To find out more on how FEARnet HD can be requested from television providers, fans can call 877-FEAR-247.