ENGLEWOOD, Colo., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The first two hours of the epic 8-hour event series, "The Pillars of the Earth," are available for an early free preview and on-demand/online sampling through select Starz affiliate partners beginning July 21, 2010. The U.S. premiere of the epic original series based on the classic Ken Follett novel is set to begin on Starz for two hours on Friday, July 23 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) and will continue airing Friday nights at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) for the remainder of the original series.
"The Pillars of the Earth" preview opportunities will be available in more than 60 million video households – record participation by Starz Entertainment cable and satellite affiliates. Participating affiliates offering the free on-demand sampling opportunities for the first two full episodes include (alphabetically):
Blue Ridge Communications (HD),
Bright House Networks (HD),
Charter Communications (HD),
Cox Communications (HD),
Mediacom Communications Corporation (HD),
Time Warner Cable (HD), and
("HD" noted above = additional HD On Demand availability for free preview)
DIRECTV will also offer the first two hours of "The Pillars of the Earth" for all subscribers on The 101 Network in both HD and standard definition. The first hour will air Wednesday, July 21 at 8:00PM ET/PT, with the second hour airing Thursday, July 22 at 11PM ET/PT.
AT&T will offer U-verse subscribers the first two hours of "The Pillars of the Earth" back-to-back on the U-verse Buzz channel (300/1300) on July 21st at 10:30PM ET, with repeat airings of the programming block on July 24th at 9:00PM ET, July 28th at 10:30PM ET, and July 31st at 9:00PM ET.
Fancast XFINITY TV (www.fancast.com) will have the first two hours of "The Pillars of the Earth" for early online sampling on July 21st, including HD availability. The first two hours of the event series may also be found on July 21st in a premium, full-screen format on Starz.com (http://www.starz.com/pillars).
"Taking a modern literary classic - such as Ken Follett's #1 bestseller - and translating it to television is a daunting challenge, but this Starz original series is an impressive achievement that Follett fans, our affiliates, and all viewers will enjoy," said Ed Huguez, executive vice president, sales and affiliate marketing, for Starz Entertainment. "We are heartened by the record level of participation from Starz affiliates for the on-demand sampling of the event series and pledge to continue a push into original programming that makes Starz a 'must-have' for premium subscribers."
The official "The Pillars of the Earth" trailer, Ken Follett's production blog and behind the scenes videos are available at www.starz.com/pillars. Follow "The Pillars of the Earth" on Twitter: @pillars_starz and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pillars.starz.
About "The Pillars of the Earth"
"The Pillars of the Earth" is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty, a sensuous, spirited story set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles in 12th Century England. Ken Follett's book, first published in 1989, has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and been published in more than 30 languages. The novel was chosen as an Oprah Book Club selection in 2007 and was included in the May 2010 issue of O Magazine as one of the 10 books that have mattered most to Oprah Winfrey over the past decade. A miniseries tie-in edition of "The Pillars of the Earth" was published by NAL on June 29th.
The $40 million series is directed by three-time DGA award-winner Sergio Mimica-Gezzan ("Heroes," "Into the West") and was shot on location in Hungary and Austria with a star-studded cast including: Ian McShane ("Deadwood," Sexy Beast), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist, A Knight's Tale), Matthew Macfadyen (Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Pride and Prejudice), Eddie Redmayne (The Yellow Handkerchief, The Good Shepherd ,2010 Tony Award-winner for Red ), Hayley Atwell (The Duchess, upcoming Captain America), Sarah Parish ("Merlin"), Donald Sutherland ("Dirty Sexy Money," The Italian Job), Alison Pill (Milk) and Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her). It was produced by Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated Tandem Communications and multi-award winning Muse Entertainment, in association with Scott Free Films, headed by the internationally renowned, award-winning producers Sir Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 17.1 million and 31.1 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its Starz, Encore and MoviePlex brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Starz, a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.
SOURCE Starz Entertainment, LLC