LOS ANGELES, CA, BEDMINSTER, NJ and LAS VEGAS, NV — Twentieth Television, a leading television program production and distribution company, and Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, have entered into an agreement to bring two direct-to-mobile series to customers. The announcement was jointly made today by Bob Cook, president and COO of Twentieth Television; Lucy Hood, senior vice president, content & marketing, of News Corporation; and John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless.
Under terms of the agreement, Twentieth Television will produce one-minute original "mobisodes" of the serial dramas "Love and Hate" and "The Sunset Hotel" (26 mobisodes of each series, for a total of 52) designed specifically for V CAST, the new 3G multimedia wireless service from Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone's 3G Live!; Verizon Wireless and Vodafone will distribute the serialized, live-action series to V CAST and Live! customers. Twentieth Television is also producing a dedicated promotional spot for each series, as well as an additional mobisode regarding the making of "The Sunset Hotel."
Twentieth Television's Cook noted, "In today's multiplatform environment, it is important to identify new and creative ways to supply the ever-growing list of avenues through which content can, and will be, delivered. We feel that the production of these serialized soap operas is a unique way to further bolster Verizon Wireless' and Vodafone's strong product offerings to global markets while creating a value proposition and additional revenue streams for all parties involved."
Verizon Wireless' Stratton added, "Mobile video is an exciting new medium that brings new opportunity and growth to programming companies our relationship with Twentieth Television leverages the broad distribution channels that Verizon Wireless and Vodafone jointly bring to the table. Twentieth Television is blazing a new trail in the U.S. with its offering of mobile programs for their customers via our V CAST 3G multimedia service."
Hood commented, "We are proud to be working with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone on this dynamic new program format for mobile. News Corp. is extremely excited about the wireless space and is already working on a mobisode series inspired by the hit Fox show '24.' 'Love and Hate' and 'The Sunset Hotel' are further testament to our company's commitment to unite innovative Hollywood creativity with breakthrough technology and we couldn't be happier that they will premiere on Verizon Wireless' new V CAST phones."
"Love and Hate" introduces Twentieth Television's groundbreaking production approach it calls "manipulated reality," in which cast members work without a script and involve everyday citizens into their improvised performances and the series' storyline. "The Sunset Hotel" will be entirely scripted.
"By giving 'Love and Hate's' cast the freedom to work without a script and allow them to creatively weave interactions with non-actors into their craft, we add another level of intrigue and depth into this project. This is a low cost, yet distinctive production technique that we will continue to explore," Cook explained. "'The Sunset Hotel' features a captivating script and performances replete with enthralling melodrama that will engage consumers."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Twentieth Television
A leader in the domestic program production and distribution arena, Twentieth Television provides a wide array of first-run and off-network programming, as well as feature film packages to the syndication and cable marketplaces. First-run programming distributed by Twentieth Television includes "Good Day Live," "Divorce Court," "Texas Justice," "Ambush Makeover," the daily lifestyle program "Live Like A Star" and home makeover program "Design Invasion." One of the top suppliers of off-net product in the U.S., Twentieth Television also distributes the smash off-net hit sitcom "The Simpsons," as well as "Reba," "Yes, Dear," "The Bernie Mac Show," "King of the Hill," "Dharma & Greg" and "Malcolm in the Middle"; and spearheaded the precedent-setting off-net debuts of the ground-breaking dramas "The Practice," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The X-Files" and "Angel." The company is currently distributing "24" for a fall 2005 launch in off-net syndication.
About News Corporation
The News Corporation Limited (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP), parent company of Twentieth Television, had total assets as of June 30, 2004 of approximately US$52 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$20 billion. News Corporation is a diversified international media and entertainment company with operations in eight industry segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; magazines and inserts; newspapers; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Basin.
For more information, please visit www.newscorp.com.