A&E to Launch New Series, Campaign

Hollywood, Calif. -- A&E Network will launch several new series and
specials this summer in conjunction with a multimedia marketing campaign that
coins the tag line, "The Art of Entertainment," network executives said
Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour here.

A&E Television Networks vice president of film, drama and performing arts
Delia Fine did not provide specifics of the campaign, but she did say the
network will refine its programming focus to reflect three distinct programming
genres: the art of biography, the art of documentary and the art of drama.

As for new programming, the network will launch four new documentary series
in late summer/early fall: The Letters, in which celebrities read
passages from letters written by the famous and infamous; Meet the
, which chronicles the world's most prominent families; House of
, a reality series in which 13 people team up to build a house but
only one gets to live in it; and Take This Job, which shows how people
transform regular jobs into a way of life.

The network will also produce eight new original movies based on Agatha
Christie mysteries, as well as an adaptation of classic story The Mayor of
. Other films in production include a profile of King Charles II
in The Last King and a family of lions in Pride.

New specials include concert performances by legendary artists Sting and Paul
McCartney, as well as a two-hour documentary special on the 50th anniversary of
Playboy magazine.

A&E sister service The History Channel also announced several new shows,
including an Aug. 24 premiere of Failure Is Not an Option, based on NASA
mission-control fight director Gene Kranz's book on America's space program, and
a Sept. 9 bow of Tactical to Practical, a series that explores
innovations developed for combat that have been adopted in civilian

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.