MUMBAI, India, Dec. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Comedy Central India, the country's only 24/7 comedy channel, has pulled off a coup by acquiring exclusive airing rights to the world's most talked about comedy show - Anger Management -- from Lionsgate International Television, the two companies announced today. The show has received a tremendous opening in the US & has a sensational buzz going for it, and its international success paved the way for one of the biggest acquisitions in recent times in the English entertainment space in India, where fans are eagerly awaiting its debut.
In the U.S, Anger Management broke a ratings record with 5.74 million viewers in its series debut and ranks as the most-watched sitcom premiere in cable history. Unlike most shows that are commissioned for an individual season at a time, the show's astounding opening response has ensured that it has received a further 90 episode order.
Lionsgate International Television has already sold the series in more than a dozen territories worldwide, including Canada, Latin America, the UK, Scandinavia, Australia/New Zealand, Germany, Benelux, Poland, Spain and South Africa. Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) Debmar-Mercury syndication arm distributes the show in the U.S. where, in addition to airing on F/X, it has already been sold into syndication with the Fox station group.
The series is based on the 2003 film of the same name and stars Charlie Sheen in a role similar to the one immortalised by Jack Nicholson from the film. In this new series, Charlie Sheen stars as ex-baseball player turned therapist specialising in anger management. The plot talks of how Charlie breaks his leg in anger, putting an end to his baseball career. He then becomes an anger management therapist who runs a successful private practice. A bunch of crazy patients, a hot female doctor who is his competition, a very confused daughter, a rebel ex-wife and his own pangs of anger, constantly bug Charlie making it even more difficult for him to keep his sanity.
Commenting on acquiring the rights to the new show, Ferzad Palia, SVP and GM - English Entertainment, Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd., says, "On our first anniversary of Comedy Central in India we're delighted to be bringing one of the most watched and talked about shows in the world, Anger Management, to our Indian audiences. In true Comedy Central style, expect unprecedented promotion, activation and fun around the show. We're excited to play home to the next big thing in sitcom history."
"We believe that Comedy Central is the perfect home for Anger Management in India, and we're delighted to continue building the show's momentum through ground breaking sales in territories around the world," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "The show is off to a record-breaking start in the U.S., and we expect it to have similar resonance with audiences around the world."
Anger Management is produced by Lionsgate Television in conjunction with Roth and Totino's Revolution Studios, Burg's Evolution Entertainment, Helford's Mohawk Productions, Inc. and Estevez Sheen Productions. The deal was arranged by Rohit Tiwari at Morris St. Advisors who are Lionsgate's partners and agents in India.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 23 shows on 16 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, the new comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which has grossed nearly $800 million at the worldwide box office, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection and Arbitrage. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $3.2 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing, the Step Up franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Hurt Locker.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd
Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. is a 50/50 joint venture operation in India between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B, world's leading entertainment content company, comprising brands like BET, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures) (www.viacom.com) and the Network18 (www.network18online.com) Group, (one of India's leading full play media conglomerates with interests in television, internet, filmed entertainment, mobile content & allied businesses, comprising brands like CNBC TV18, CNBC Awaaz, Newswire18, moneycontrol.com, CNN-IBN, IBN 7, Homeshop18, SUN18 and E18 amongst others). The joint venture includes leading brands across television, film and digital media to build one of India's leading multimedia entertainment power house. Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. includes the vibrant youth brand - MTV (www.mtvindia.com), the fastest growing kids channel - Nick (www.nickindia.com), India's premier International Entertainment channel - Vh1, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, India's only linear film production & distribution banner, and COLORS, (www.colorstv.in) one of India's leading Hindi General Entertainment channel. This apart, Viacom18 also runs Viacom's consumer products business in India.
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