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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • SONY PICTURES TELEVISION, TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS, PEACE OUT PRODUCTIONS AND SCOTT FREE TELEVISION EXPLODE INTO ACTION ON POMPEII
  • Four Hour Event Miniseries Based on International Bestseller by Robert Harris
  • CULVER CITY, CA and France, April 11, 2010 - Sony Pictures Television (SPT), Tandem Communications, Peace Out Productions and Scott Free Television are partnering on a new four-hour event miniseries, based on "Pompeii," the bestselling book by Robert Harris.

    "'Pompeii' is a thrilling read and will make for an exciting miniseries," said Helen Verno, executive vice president, movies and miniseries, SPT. "Provocative and suspenseful, the story unfolds as both a love story and a thriller, with the historical, apocalyptic backdrop of a city on the precipice of destruction and characters who are totally relatable to a contemporary audience."

    "We're looking forward to partnering again with Sony Pictures Television and Scott Free and with Executive Producer Judith Verno at the producing helm, we have a team that understands exciting event programming," said Rola Bauer, Partner and Managing Director of Tandem Communications. "Pompeii was one of the worst natural disasters in our history and Mount Vesuvius is still considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Even today, it remains a concern, with its ever-present potential for disaster."

    "We're looking forward to partnering again with Sony Pictures Television and Scott Free and with Executive Producer Judith Verno at the producing helm, we have a team that understands exciting event programming," said Rola Bauer, Partner and Managing Director of Tandem Communications. "Pompeii was one of the worst natural disasters in our history, and still captures our imagination in present day."

    "The creation of worlds - specifically those historical worlds which continue to capture the popular imagination - is what we love to do and do best. Pompeii is a strong and compelling character drama set against a backdrop of a flourishing but ultimately doomed civilization - exactly what makes great event television," said Ridley Scott.

    International bestselling and award-winning author Robert Harris (Fatherland, The Ghost) has created a suspenseful blazing thriller about one of the great natural disasters in human history. When the mighty Aqua Augusta, the aqueduct-lifeline of the ancient cities of the Bay of Naples, suddenly starts to go dry, the newly assigned aqueduct engineer Marcus Attilius finds himself racing against time to keep the military and trade ports on the Bay alive. The young engineer doesn't realize that he's also in a race he can't win against one of the deadliest forces of nature - the inconceivable power building under the quiet slopes of Mount Vesuvius.

    Against the background of the final seventy-two hours before the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius, and driven by a desperate search for answers, Attilius struggles – along with Corelia, his new young love - to survive the catastrophic experience which for generations to come will be summed up by one word: Pompeii.

    Called "A supremely good piece of storytelling..." by The Guardian, Harris' book has been translated into more than 30 languages.

    About Sony Pictures Television

    Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television, first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry's largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Internationally, SPT is a leader in local language productions around the world, some of which are co-produced with local partners and sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries. To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 114 channel feeds, which are available in more than 130 countries reaching almost 400 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT is a part owner of cable channel GSN, FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT's syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel. SPT www.sonypicturestelevision.com is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

    Tandem Communications is located in Munich, Germany and was started in 1999 by Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin. In 2007 Jonas Bauer became a partner in the company and in 2009 Malisa Scott became a partner and Chief Operating Officer. From the beginning, their strategy was to build a vertically-integrated media company whose core business is international production and worldwide distribution. From the ground-breaking series Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, now in post-production, to the Emmy® Award winner Frank Herbert's Dune to the Emmy® nominated Dragons' World to the Golden Globe® nominated The Company to the Nora Roberts Franchise, Tandem continues to develop, produce and distribute high-quality projects.

    Tandem produced the DIVA Award-winning Ring of the Nibelungs and garnered excellent ratings on the SyFy Channel in the U.S., as well as internationally for its event movie, Lost City Raiders. Impact premiered successfully in the U.S. on ABC Network. In 2009, Tandem launched internationally the new Patricia Cornwell movie franchise with At Risk and The Front, based on her worldwide bestselling crime novels. In 2010 Tandem shot The Lost Future on location in South Africa, starring Sean Bean and directed by award-winning director Mikael Salomon.

    Peace Out Production's Judith Verno has developed and produced television movies and miniseries for Sony Pictures Television for over twelve years. Her credits include Who is Clark Rockefeller?, Natalee Holloway, Into Thin Air based on the best-seller by Jon Krakauer, Fatal Contact, Murder in Greenwich and The Hunt for the BTK Killer. Her current development slate includes James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's, Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner, Terrorist by Pulitzer Prize winning author John Updike, Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer and Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier.

    Prior to Sony Pictures Television, Judith worked at New Line Cinema in International Licensing and at Miramax Films on the marketing campaigns for such films as Sex, Lies, and Video Tape, My Left Foot, Cinema Paradiso and Truth or Dare.

    Scott Free, based in London and Los Angeles, was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production company of directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. The Scott brothers appointed producer David W. Zucker to start up and spearhead their television division as President in 2001. Scott Free Television has become known for such high-quality and internationally successful programs as the new CBS drama series, The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, Numb3rs recently wrapped its sixth season, award-winning long-form programs including the 14 Emmy® nominated Into The Storm for HBO, which is a sequel to the Emmy®-winning telefilm, The Gathering Storm, A&E's Emmy®-nominated miniseries, Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, and TNT's epic six-hour spy thriller, The Company, a Golden Globe® nominee, starring Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina.

    This year Scott Free Films produced the highly-anticipated Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Oscar®-winners Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, also starring Matthew Macfadyen, who plays the "Prior Philip” in the up-coming 8-hour series The Pillars of the Earth. Previously, Scott Free Films produced the box-office smash, American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and Body of Lies starring Leonardo DiCaprio, both directed by Ridley Scott. Tony Scott recently directed Unstoppable, starring Chris Pine and Denzel Washington and previously collaborated with Washington and John Travolta on the actioner The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Tony Scott is also director of Man on Fire, Spy Game and Top Gun while Ridley Scott is responsible for the classic films Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Alien and Blade Runner.

    Contacts:

    Paula Askanas
    Sony Pictures Television
    310-244-3790

    Johanna Cassells
    Sony Pictures Television