We've already posted news regarding a few of these shows, but we managed to dig up the press release announcing the aquisition of Thames titles by A&E Home Video. There are only a handful of the 23 licensed titles listed in the press release, so we'll try and dig up the other titles in the coming weeks. With VSDA occuring in Las Vegas this week, we expect that A&E will be pumping this aquisition.A&E HOME VIDEO ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN
RIGHTS TO 23 TITLES FROM FREMANTLEMEDIA'S PRESTIGIOUS THAMES LIBRARY
One of the Crown Jewels of British TV, the Thames Library Includes Such Acclaimed Classics as THE BENNY HILL SHOW, THE WORLD AT WAR and WIND IN THE WILLOWS; A&E Will Begin to Release Titles 3rd Quarter 2004
NEW YORK, NY, March 29, 2004 - Solidifying its standing as one of the premiere distributors of classic British TV programming in the U.S. home entertainment marketplace, A&E Home Video today announced that it has acquired North American home video rights to 23 titles from the prestigious Thames Library owned by FremantleMedia including such TV classics as THE BENNY HILL SHOW (111 episodes x 30 mins.), the definitive documentary series THE WORLD AT WAR (26 episodes x 1 hr) and the timeless children's program THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (65 episodes x 20 mins.). The announcement was made jointly by Kate Winn, VP, Sales & Marketing, A&E Home Video and Pete Kalhan, Senior VP of Home Entertainment and Archive Sales, FremantleMedia.
"With the acquisition of some of the most exciting programs contained in the Thames Library, we've landed one of the foremost catalogs of British TV programming available today, truly the gold standard," said Winn. "These fan-favorite Thames series enhance our deep catalog of British programming classics - with Benny Hill, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Mr. Bean we now become the home of Classic British Comedy. And, The World at War is a perfect complement to Victory at Sea and Century of Warfare, giving us one of the definitive home entertainment libraries of 20th century warfare."
"I am delighted that we will be working with A&E in the U.S. in the future with our Thames catalogue. They have shown great passion and understanding for the heritage of the product and I am certain this is the beginning of a highly successful and profitable venture for us both," said Kalhan.
In addition to the titles already mentioned, the Thames Library also includes such popular TV fare as the B.F.G, the charming animated version of Roald Dahl's popular children's book, cult classics REILLY: ACE OF SPIES, starring Sam Neill, DANGER MOUSE and many more. The Thames Library titles will begin to be released in collectible boxed DVD sets beginning 3rd Quarter, 2004.
New Video Group is the exclusive worldwide distributor for A&E Home Video.
A&E Home Video, part of the Consumer Products Division of A&E Television Networks (AETN) is a video distributor of non-theatrical programming, featuring collectible VHS and DVD editions of the high quality programming from A&E and The History Channel, as well as acquired classic programming. A&E Home Video brings the best of critically acclaimed entertainment presented in award-winning packaging to the special interest category.
Fremantle Home Entertainment is part of FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, the company's global merchandising, licensing, telephony and interactive operations division. FremantleMedia is one of the largest international creators and producers of programme brands in the world, with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 territories. Key UK formats include the nation's top police drama, The Bill, the award winning international entertainment format, Idols (Pop Idol in the UK), the grime busting factual entertainment format from talkback, How Clean is Your House? and factual entertainment series, starring celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Kitchen. FremantleMedia has production offices in over 20 countries worldwide creating a range of programmes from Germany's leading serial drama, Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten (Good Times Bad Times), to top Australian soap, Neighbours and the world's longest running game show, The Price is Right. The company's licensing operation, FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, exploits FremantleMedia's many strong brands across multiple off-screen platforms, extending from merchandising campaigns and interactive and wireless support, to home entertainment and music publishing. Fremantle International Distribution, the company's international distribution division licenses over 19,000 hours of programmes to 150 countries worldwide including the outrageous antics of Mr Bean: The Animated Series, moving drama, The Return, starring Julie Walters, landmark documentary, The World at War and the hugely popular special, Britney Spears: In the Zone.
FremantleMedia is the content arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company.