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‘Crash'-ing TV Sets

28 Jan, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Starz Entertainment and Lionsgate have teamed up to produce the second TV series ever based on a best picture Academy Award winner.

The “Crash” TV series will debut later this year exclusively on the Starz Channel, and a home video release will follow through Starz Media's Anchor Bay Entertainment. Lionsgate will have international distribution rights. “In The Heat of the Night” was the only other No. 1 Oscar film to have a series follow it. “Crash introduced a whole range of fascinating characters and engrossing, intertwined stories that are ideally suited for developing into a TV series,” said Stephan Shelanski, EVP of programming for Starz Entertainment. “Starz is the premium channel for movies so it's appropriate that this best picture winner is providing the basis for our first dramatic series. The fact that key members of the film's production team are involved will ensure that our series maintains the high level of talent and creativity captured in the film.”

The production team for the series is loaded with key players from the film: Bobby Moresco, Bob Yari, Paul Haggis, Don Cheadle, Mark R. Harris, and Tom Nunan.

“An important part of our strategy is to create franchises across our company's divisions,” said Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate's president of programming and production. “And early in our involvement with this extraordinary film, we recognized its enormous potential to be successfully adapted for television. In Starz, we have found partners who share our vision, and we anticipate a great collaboration.”

“This series will present an opportunity to delve into many subjects, not just race relations in L.A.,” Cheadle said. “I don't think you can do 13 episodes on that subject and keep people interested. The challenge will be to craft the series characters in such a way as to get beneath the skin that supposedly differentiates them and create entertaining story lines that show the hurdles and obstacles we all struggle to overcome day to day.”

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