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AMC, ABC News Teaming Up

Continuing to boost its documentary fare, AMC is teaming up with ABC News to develop a series of original films focusing on issues within the entertainment industry.

First on the docket: the April 26 debut of Bleep: Censoring Hollywood, a one-hour look at the controversy and legality surrounding the practice of sanitizing DVD versions of popular films in order to block out potentially questionable content for viewers.

In all, AMC and ABC News will produce five documentaries as part of the agreement, which gives AMC a one-year exclusive TV window.

“It was a natural for us to call ABC News to see if we could form this partnership and come up with maybe three or four subjects per year that would be controversial, provocative and interesting,” AMC vice president of documentaries Jessica Shreeve said.

ABC News Productions executive producer and general manager Lisa Zeff said in a prepared statement that the partnership “is an opportunity to tell timely and provocative stories about an industry with seemingly limitless viewer appeal.”

A second not-yet-themed documentary will air later this year, with three to four scheduled for 2006. “We want to try to keep [future subject matters] open and be more responsive to news events,” Shreeve said.

For more on the AMC-ABC News effort, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 10 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

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.