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Lionsgate Acquires 'Little House' Franchise

20 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Stepping up its foray into classic TV, Lionsgate has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for “Little House on the Prairie” and will roll out all 208 episodes of the 1974-83 NBC drama beginning in April.

The agreement, with Quebec-based Imavision Distribution Inc., also gives Lionsgate distribution rights to the company's more than 30 other titles, including three volumes of “Jerry Springer Uncut,” the Ben Stein-hosted “Game Show Moments Gone Bananas” and a series of popular Spanish-language telenovelas.

But “Little House on the Prairie” clearly is the flagship. The series, about a pioneer family struggling to eke out an existence on the frontier in the 1800s, was based on the “Little House” series of books by Laura Ingalls and starred the late Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert. The series was nominated for more than a dozen Emmy Awards and won four, for cinematography and music. Goldhil previously distributed “Little House on the Prairie” on DVD in 2003, racking up sales of more than 2 million units.

Steve Beeks, president of Lionsgate, called the series “a valuable addition to our expansive library of high-profile television programs” and promises new marketing and promotional programs he hopes will “optimize its success at retail.”

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