Genesis International Television & Film has acquired the U.S. rights to Fireworks International’s “Heartland,” the top-rated family drama based on a series of books set in the U.S., and cleared it on stations covering more than 94% of [the country] for the 2010-11 season. The CBS, Tribune, Sinclair, Hearst, Lin, Meredith, Nexstar and Belo station groups are among the major broadcasters acquiring the series, which will appear mostly in weekend primetime slots starting this fall, announced Genesis President Wayne Lepoff and Fireworks International President Greg Phillips.
NBC Universal Television Distribution will handle national advertising sales for the 22 original one-hour episodes of Heartland. Currently filming its fourth season, the primetime series leads in households and all key individual, female and male demos airing at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBC Television (Canada’s national broadcaster). With its strong appeal to young adult audiences, many top-market CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates, as well as independents, have targeted the syndicated drama for primetime.
“Heartland is an addictive and heart-warming family drama, akin to a modern-day ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ set in the Rocky Mountains with rich production values and a first-rate, very popular cast,” Lepoff said. “It fills a tremendous void in the marketplace. Stations are in need of quality scripted weekly first-run hours like this one, which is a proven performer that appeals equally to younger viewers and across all key demos.”
Starring Amber Marshall (The Elizabeth Smart Story), Heartland is the struggle of a debt-ridden family of Rocky Mountain horse ranchers fighting to keep a dream alive against a backdrop of young love, conflict and intrigue. Veteran actor Shaun Johnston (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee); Michelle Morgan (Stargate: Atlantis, The L Word) and Graham Wardle (In the Land of Women, Yesterday) also star.
“The U.S. is a major component of our global distribution strategy for this superb weekly drama and we are gratified to see so many stations committing such strong time periods to it,” Fireworks International President Greg Phillips said. “They see in Heartland all of the ingredients to become a successful franchise on American television, just as it has been throughout the world.”
Dick Askin, CEO of Askin and Company, consulted for Fireworks on the project.
Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Dynamo Films for CBC, the series is distributed internationally by Fireworks International, ContentFilm’s international television and digital distribution division.
Genesis International TV produces and/or distributes first-run and off-network programming to syndication, broadcast and cable networks in the U.S. and Canada.
(Source: Genesis International TV)