'Twilight' Comes To Showtime With Summit Deal

Showtime is continuing to rebuild its move library following the announcement earlier this year that Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate would be taking their libraries to a new cable channel in 2009. 

Showtime inked a deal with Summit Entertainment that will give the network rights to up to 42 of the company’s films released between 2008 and 2012, including box office hit Twilight and all future installments of the franchise. Twilight is based on the series of vampire novels, by author Stephanie Meyer.

Showtime inked a deal with the Weinstein Company in July for about 95 of its films.

“We have been talking to them for a good year or so, obviously they exploded into the marketplace with Twilight,” Showtime chairman and CEO Matt Blank told B&C. “We are very excited about it, [Summit CEO] Robbie Friedman was vice chairman of Paramount for years and I know him well.

Blank also said that while the network is not actively seeking out deals with other production houses, it is keeping its eyes open. 

“We will look at things opportunistically, we will have Lionsgate and MGM on Showtime through the first half of 2011, and we buy movie on a one-off basis all the time,” Blank says. “If something came along tomorrow we will take a look at it.”

“We are very excited to have the opportunity for our product be a part of their programming,” Summit CEO Rob Friedman told B&C. “[Going to pay TV] was never part of our original business plan but it was something we always wanted to layer in. we had ongoing discussions with basically everyone in the space, and because of my relationship with Matt, it would come up quite regularly.”