Sony Turns to TV Movies for a Roster Boost2 Mar, 2009 By: John Latchem
With catalog vaults played out and TV DVD series hitting a market plateau, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is expanding its library of TV movies on DVD with a mix of recent cable efforts and older network fare.
In February the studio released several made-for-cable movies. Titles included Gym Teacher: The Movie, a Nickelodeon family film starring Christopher Meloni; The Tenth Circle, starring Kelly Preston in a drama about a family protecting its secrets during a rape investigation; Touch the Top of the World, which aired on A&E in 2006 and tells the story of Erik Weihenmayer (Peter Facinelli), the first blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest; the Spike TV thriller S.I.S.; and TNT’s The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, the third film in the adventure franchise starring Noah Wyle.
Sony Pictures follows up March 3 with two vintage network TV movies. Streeting at $14.94 each are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an adaptation of the Victor Hugo story that aired on CBS in 1982 and stars Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo; and The Story of David, a two-part miniseries that aired on ABC in 1976, starring Timothy Bottoms as King David and Jane Seymour as Bathsheba in the story of the Biblical icon, from his epic battle with Goliath to his struggles to unite a kingdom.
March 31 comes the highly anticipated Spectacular!, a Nickelodeon movie in the mold of High School Musical, at $19.95.
April 28 (prebook March 26) Sony releases Sex & Lies in Sin City, a Lifetime movie starring Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, based on the true story of the controversy surrounding the death of Las Vegas mogul Ted Binion. The movie aired in October, and the DVD is offered at $24.96.
Due May 5 (prebook April 2) on DVD is a slate of at least five TV movies. Offered at $24.96 each: December’s Lifetime movie Flirting With Forty, starring Heather Locklear as a divorced mother of two who romances a younger man during a tropical getaway; January’s Hallmark Channel sequel The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love, starring Genie Francis and Ted McGinley in a continuation of the story based on Angela Hunt’s novel; and Lifetime’s Living Proof, about a UCLA doctor who develops a breast cancer treatment.
Vintage network fare due May 5, at $14.94 each, includes Florence Nightengale, a 1985 NBC movie starring Jaclyn Smith (“Charlie’s Angels”) as the famous nurse, and the 1982 CBS medieval epic Ivanhoe, based on the story by Sir Walter Scott, starring James Mason (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and Sam Neill.
“We work closely with our retail partners to select movies from our library that show potential and have strong consumer interest in the marketplace,” said Marc Rashba, VP of marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Not to be left out of the TV movie parade, Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS DVD have slated The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E., a 1983 reunion movie of 1960s spy series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” for DVD March 3 at $19.99, followed March 24 by Master of the Game, the 1984 CBS miniseries based on Sidney Sheldon’s novel, on DVD at $29.99.