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TV One Inks Warner Deal

In a move to buttress its series and movie roster, TV One has acquired several African American-targeted theatricals and scripted series from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, including episodes from current UPN sitcoms All of Us and Eve.

The comprehensive, multiyear deal covers the rights to air recent episodes of the syndicated series Showtime at the Apollo, including new installments of the variety show two weeks after they’ve aired on broadcast stations, TV One CEO Johnathan Rodgers said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is the most significant deal in the history of TV One,” Rodgers added. “One of the highlights of the deal is our relationship with Showtime at the Apollo, which will give us a virtual presence in New York.”

The deal has provisions accounting for the future of UPN sitcoms All of Us and Eve.

According to TV One officials, the service this fall will be able to air both series in primetime if The CW — the new network to be formed this fall by the merger of UPN with The WB — does not pick them up as part of its new lineup. TV One will have weekend distribution rights if the shows are scheduled by the fledgling broadcast network.

Through the Warner Bros. pact, the 28 million-subscriber TV One has also secured the rights to such movie titles as The Color Purple, Malcolm X, Lean on Me, Boiling Point, New Jack City, Uptown Saturday Night, Strictly Business, Purple Rain, Krush Groove, Sparkle, Shaft and Superfly. The network’s windows with the titles phase in at different times over the next year.

On the series side, TV One now has rights to such off-network fare as Living Single, which can air on the service starting in 2008. TV One can begin running other series such as For Your Love, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and The Parent ’Hood immediately.

In addition, the network renewed its contracts for Martin and Roc.

Martin and Roc have already proved very popular with TV One viewers, and we expect the rest of this Warner Bros. package to help ensure that we continue to have a strong lineup of acquired scripted programming to complement our original programming,” TV One executive vice president of programming and production Rose Catherine Pinkney said in a statement.

TV One is a venture of the African-American-targeted Radio One Inc. and Comcast Corp, along with Bear Stearns’ Constellation Ventures, Syndicated Communications, Pacesetter Capital Group and Opportunity Capital Partners.