Biography Opts for Star Power

Buoyed by a recent ratings uptick for Biography, A&E Network
executives have been busy preparing a splashy marketing campaign behind its
signature series, featuring images captured by photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Lauded for her photos in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, as well
as ad campaigns by American Express Co. and the National Milk Processor Board,
Leibovitz has photographed 11 celebrities for A&E’s campaign.

A&E executive vice president and general manager Abbe Raven and senior VP
of marketing Artie Scheff said the multipronged campaign, breaking Monday and
running through the fourth quarter in 15 magazines -- Cosmopolitan,
Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, People and The
New York Times Magazine
among them -- represents the heftiest support
A&E has put behind a single program.

The executives declined to divulge a budget figure. But other industry
sources estimated the combined value of Biography’s paid and on-air
marketing and promo budget -- as well as Leibovitz’s considerable fee -- at
roughly $20 million.

The first iteration of the multiyear campaign will showcase Muhammad Ali,
Steven Spielberg, Nicolas Cage, Jamie Lee Curtis, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere,
Mary Tyler Moore, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Selleck, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman
(the latter couple shot together).