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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • SONY PICTURES TELEVISION UNVEILS FIRST BESPOKE FORMAT FOR CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
  • 'THE EIGHTIES' set to launch at NATPE Budapest
  • BUDAPEST (June 11, 2012) - Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is launching a scripted series format developed specifically for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with plans to unveil it at NATPE Budapest this month.

    The EIGHTIES, a coming of age dramedy set in the time of Perestroika, was developed and produced by SPT Productions Russia and LEAN-M for the CTC network earlier this year.

    In Russia, The EIGHTIES was a ratings powerhouse, the highest rated series of the year for CTC, beating the channel's prime time average rating for 16-34 year olds by 81%. CTC has also ordered a second series for broadcast later this year.

    The EIGHTIES, set in Moscow in 1986, follows a group of college students coming into adulthood, just as the Soviet Union itself faced dramatic and sweeping changes. Freedom was most definitely in the air! For the first time, the youth of the nation could look to the West as a benchmark for the future. Eighteen year old Vanya and his friends tasted opportunity where once there was only restriction - and as the country grew up around them, so too did their hopes and dreams that life has more to offer than a factory job paying 120 roubles and endless evenings listening to forbidden songs in secret. Life, it seems, is full of love, of heartbreak, of friends and adventures that echo through time.

    Jeff Lerner, svp scripted development, international production, SPT, said: "The EIGHTIES is set at the start of a dramatic period of change in history - politically, culturally and socially. This backdrop of a country experiencing so many 'firsts' provides a poignant parallel to our characters' lives as they experience the ups and downs of student life, romance, parties, friendship and family. The juxtaposition of these rites of passage, alongside the country's coming of age, allows for a shared experience that many CEE broadcasters will recognise as particularly resonant for their audiences."

    SPT will also present non-scripted formats to buyers at NATPE Budapest, in particular its gameshow, Breakaway (from Gogglebox Entertainment), which has just been commissioned for a second series by the BBC, and its cross-generational music series, Cover Me (from Tuvalu Media) already licensed in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal.

    Other major formats recently licensed by SPT across CEE include gameshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in territories such as Russia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Poland and Albania; talkshow, The Dr Oz Show, in Russia and Armenia; and sitcoms Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens in Russia, and Rules of Engagement in Poland.

    ENDS

    Notes to Editors

    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 produces 6,000+ hours of programming annually in over 70 countries. SPT is a leader in local language productions, some of which are co-produced with local partners, and sells SPE-owned formats around the world. 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 120 channel feeds, which are available in 159 countries reaching more than 543 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns Dutch entertainment company 2waytraffic, production company Embassy Row. Sony Movie Channel, LEAN-M, and is a part owner of cable channel GSN, new 3D channel 3net, 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. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

    For further information, contact:

    Mark Macdonald
    Executive Director, Communications
    Sony Pictures Television
    Mark_macdonald@spe.sony.com
    +44 20 7533 1363

    Christina Joyce
    Premier PR
    christina.joyce@premierpr.com
    020 7292 8352