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Encore to Telecast 56th Annual Writers Guild Awards

By Starz Encore Group; Writers Guild of America
Feb 10, 2004, 18:58

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First Time in Guild History Award Ceremony to be Televised


ENGLEWOOD, Colorado -- The 56th Annual Writers Guild Awards will be presented for the first time on television on Encore, it was announced jointly today by Charles Holland, president of the Writers Guild of America, west, and Robert Leighton, president of Starz Encore Entertainment. The awards, honoring outstanding achievement in writing in 2003 in film and television will be handed out on Saturday, February 21 in Los Angeles and a hour-long highlight special will be telecast on Encore, Friday, February 27th at 7:00 p.m. (EST/PST), kicking off "The Weekend," STARZ! and Encore's 48-Hour Academy Award(R) movie marathon. Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Bradley Whitford ("The West Wing") have been tapped to co-host this year's ceremony.

"We are thrilled to be the first to telecast this prestigious event," said Leighton. "Our subscribers love 'all things movies,' and this event honoring outstanding skill and imagination in cinematic storytelling is the perfect complement to our film line-up that features great movies, new and old."

"We are pleased that Encore is home to the first-ever telecast of the annual Writers Guild Awards. This special evening celebrates the indelible impressions and enduring contributions writers have made during the last year in film and television," said Charles Holland, president of the Writers Guild of America, west. "With Encore's help, we continue our mandate to raise the profile of talented writers everywhere."

This year's nominees for original screenplay are Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation," Tom McCarthy for "The Station Agent," Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan, and Kirsten Sheridan for "In America," Steven Knight for "Dirty Pretty Things," and Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges for "Bend it Like Beckham." Best adapted screenplay nominees are Anthony Minghella for "Cold Mountain," Brian Helgeland for "Mystic River," Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Gary Ross for "Seabiscuit," and Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman for "American Splendor." For a complete listing of this year's nominations, including television, go to www.wga.org .

Spike Jones, Jr. will serve as producer of this year's west coast Writers Guild Awards, having produced the Creative Emmy Awards for the past nine years, and will be working with two-time Emmy and three-time WGA Award winning writer Anne Beatts, whose credits include Saturday Night Live, Square Pegs, and A Different World.

Since 1948, the Writers Guild Awards have celebrated outstanding achievements in writing for screen, television, and radio, honoring the people who write the stories that delight, enlighten, and entertain millions around the world.

Founded in 1933, the Writers Guild of America, west represents writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries for collective bargaining. The guild conducts numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.

Starz Encore Group is the largest provider of premium movie services in the United States with approximately 144 million pay units. Starz offerings include the Starz Super Pak(R), with up to 13 digital movie channels and more than 750 movies per month, Starz On Demand(R), the only on-demand pay TV subscription service available on cable, satellite, and broadband platforms, and a suite of advanced video offerings, including STARZ! HD(SM), and Starz On Demand HD(SM). Starz is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE:L) (NYSE:LMCb) , www.starz.com .

For further information, please contact Steve Belgard of Starz Encore, +1-720-852-5843, steve.belgard@starzencore.com; or Tom Chen of MPRM, +1-323-933-3399, tchen@mprm.com, for Starz Encore; or Vicky Gallion of WGA West, +1-323-782-4574, vgallion@wga.org



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