Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports and Original Productions Rev Up to Create Major TV Programming VentureLOS ANGELES & AURORA, Ill.--March 28, 2005--At a time when powerful, adrenaline-charged motor sports are exploding in popularity around the world, the premier producer and promoter of specialized motor sports events -- Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports -- joins forces with one of the most prolific and successful producers of reality programming -- Original Productions -- in a deal to create unique shows for network and cable television.
Original Productions, the company behind the hit show "Monster Garage," is already going full-throttle working with Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports in creating formats inspired by the high octane excitement that is influencing world trends and thrilling millions-upon-millions of specialized motor sports enthusiasts in sold-out stadiums and arenas throughout the world.
The initial entertainment formats in development are inspired by the excitement of super-charged, visually stunning Monster Trucks and their accomplished crew of heroes. Among the prime time shows in development is a show that drives real-life families into the high energy, fantasy design and operation of Monster Truck action while at the same time placing these larger-than-life Monster Truck characters smack dab in the middle of suburban life.
Clear Channel's U.S. Hot Rod Association (USHRA) Monster Jam events featuring such crowd-favorite vehicles as Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction and Monster Mutt, and drivers like Dennis Anderson, Tom Meents and Debra "Madusa" Miceli, draw more than 3 million fans each year, filling stadiums across the country and, increasingly, around the world as well. The consistently sold-out live events appeal to a wide array of demographic and economic sectors.
These events are particularly popular with families, drawn to the fun, the entertainment and the kid-friendly heroic characters that populate the sport. At a time when some say other major sports are riddled with decidedly non-heroic behavior, Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports provides a welcomed adventure and pursuit for families.
Original Productions is the ideal partner to bring the thrill of specialized motor sports events to the TV screen with episodic programming. The Burbank, Calif.-based production company, founded by Thom Beers, is the leader in creating hit shows that target motor sports fans, and now has grown into an increasingly strong force in a wide range of entertaining, provocative scripted and reality shows.
Since its debut in 2002, "Monster Garage" -- on which customizing legend Jesse James and an all-star crew transform ordinary cars into extraordinary machines, all in just one week -- has become a signature show on the Discovery Channel; it's the cable network's second highest-rated series. "Monster Garage" has spawned such hit series as "Monster House" and "Monster Nation."
Original Productions is now being recognized for its hugely popular shows in other topics too. Debuting in April, on the heels of Original's two critically acclaimed and highly rated adventure documentaries about the dangerous world of Alaskan crab fishing, comes a new 10-part series, "Deadliest Catch." This compelling Discovery series takes viewers up close to the brutal and treacherous life of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea, where serious injuries are a part of the job, and the real threat of death is omnipresent.
"Boom!," a new series for Spike TV featuring a crew of pyrotechnic professionals blowing up cars, motor homes and pretty much anything else viewers request (within the limits of the law, of course), is already a hit for the network. In addition, the company is breaking ground with Discovery Health Channel's "Plastic Surgery: Before & After," an unflinching look at the process involved in -- and the human drama behind -- cosmetic surgery.
"Clear Channel Entertainment's Monster Trucks are hugely entertaining and spectacularly successful. We're excited about our show concepts that will take this exceptional live experience into the episodic TV world," said Thom Beers, CEO of Original Productions and Executive Producer for all of the company's series. "Monster Trucks are just the beginning. Other Clear Channel Entertainment events like the supercross motorcycle racing series and the Thunder Nationals have all the star power, sensational visuals and raw energy that make for irresistible TV."
"The teaming-up of program development leader, Original Productions along with Clear Channel Entertainment's - Motor Sports is truly powerful!" said Charlie Mancuso, President, Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports. "Original Productions has the ability to create exciting programming that will energize the millions of loyal motor sports fans while engaging new audiences. We are proud to be working with Original Productions and taking the strengths of these two industry leaders in captivating the amazing thrills, dedicated enthusiasts and legion of stars of specialized motor sports for network and cable television."
Shows created by this partnership between Original Productions and Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports will be targeted to the major broadcast networks, as well as high-profile cable networks where Original Productions is already firmly established. Last October, NBC scored one of the highest-rated motorcycle events in TV history with its telecast of Clear Channel - Motor Sports' Maxxis U.S. Open. Clear Channel - Motor Sports and NBC are now partnered on the Dew Action Sports Tour, slated to begin in June, the first season-long nationally televised series to feature the growing sports of skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross.
The wide-ranging relationship between Original Productions and Clear Channel Entertainment's - Motor Sports division covers potential ancillary opportunities as well, with Original Productions handling any off-network, home entertainment, soundtrack and music publishing rights, among others, while Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports will handle most merchandising opportunities.
"We see this partnership as a vehicle to create a show around Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports' awesome Monster Truck franchise, and that's just the start of a rewarding collaboration," said Tracy Green, Executive Vice President at Original Productions, who was heavily involved in forging this deal. "Events like USHRA Monster Jams, National Arenacross and all of the others appeal to adults, couples, and kids -- there's no limit to the kinds of programming we can create."
About Clear Channel Entertainment
Clear Channel Entertainment, a leading producer and marketer of live entertainment events is a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications , a global leader in the out-of-home advertising industry. Clear Channel Entertainment currently owns, operates and/or exclusively books approximately 130 live entertainment venues, in North America and internationally. Each year, 69 million people attended approximately 32,000 events promoted and/or produced by the company, including live music events; Broadway, West End and touring theatrical shows; family entertainment shows; museum exhibitions, and specialized sports and motor sports events. In addition, the company's independently operated athlete representation business, SFX, provides management, marketing and financial consulting services to many of the world's top professional athletes. Clear Channel Entertainment operates throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. More information may be found by visiting www.cc.com and www.clearchannel.com
About Original Productions
With such signature shows as "Monster Garage," "Monster House," "Biker Build-Off" and "Deadliest Catch: Crab Fishing in Alaska," Original Productions is emerging as one of the most innovative production companies for a television industry looking for fresh ideas and creative solutions. In addition to its hugely successful production company, Original Productions also encompasses MAX Post, a leading edge post-production facility, the soundtrack record label Amygdala Music, and in-house merchandising. The company, based in Burbank, Calif., was founded in 1999 by Thom Beers, who had been a successful producer and executive for Turner Broadcasting and Paramount syndicated television. For more information on the company click on www.origprod.com. Original Productions is represented by Greg Lipstone at William Morris, and Bob Wise at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.