FilmRise Inks New Deal With ITV Studios for Shows Such as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

FilmRise has announced a deal that extends and expands its partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for streaming rights to more than 1,000 hours of programming across SVOD and AVOD platforms.

In addition to new titles being distributed by FilmRise, the company is digitally distributing all 18 seasons of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and all seasons of “Kitchen Nightmares” for SVOD and AVOD in the United States.

FilmRise has also extended its multi-year rights for the shows and will also become the exclusive digital distributor of “Hell’s Kitchen” in Canada.

The deal furthers FilmRise’s distribution to Canada, extending the original deal struck in early 2018 between the two companies, and includes shows such as “Emmerdale,” “Heartbeat” and “Peak Practice,” which will now be available on AVOD and SVOD in all of North America.

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“We are excited about increasing our partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “This deal expands the scope of our rights, including into Canada, providing access to audiences across North America to stream these high-quality programs.”

“FilmRise is an exceptional partner,” added Rob Kaplan, VP sales, U.S. and global accounts at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, in a statement. “The company’s distribution network across SVOD and AVOD platforms in North America will allow audiences of our fan favorite programming to have many different viewing options.”

As part of the deal, FilmRise will also be bringing the comedy series “Miranda,” sci-fi shows “Saphire & Steel” and Gerry Anderson’s “UFO,” and Jason Isaac’s crime drama “Case Histories” to its North American streaming audiences.

FilmRise Adds Free Content to Sling TV

FilmRise July 28 announced it has partnered with Dish Network’s online TV service, Sling TV, to add free ad-supported content to the service.

Sling TV subscribers using Roku devices will be able to watch programming from the New York-based distributor even if they are not a FilmRise base service subscriber.

Sling Orange and Sling Blue subscribers will automatically see FilmRise available as a channel in their channel guide, and Sling users on Roku devices can access the content by opening the Sling app and selecting “browse as guest” option.

“Sling provides consumers with their favorite TV programming and now, with this new offering, they can further their audience’s options without viewers’ payment commitment,” Danny Fisher of FilmRise said in a statement. “It’s a win-win for all.”

FilmRise titles available on Sling TV include, series “Forensic Files,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and “Kitchen Nightmares.” Movies include Bernie, The Illusionist and the “Ernest” franchise, among others.

The pact comes as Sling TV has seen subscriber growth cool. It added just 48,000 subscribers in the most-recent fiscal period to end the period with 2.47 million subs — four years after launching.

‘Robotech’ Catalog Streaming on AVOD Platforms

All series and the feature Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles from the anime franchise “Robotech” are available to stream at no cost on AVOD platforms, including The Roku Channel, Vudu and FilmRise, FilmRise announced.

The announcement was made July 18 during the Robotech panel at San Diego Comic-Con by Harmony Gold.

The content available to stream includes all 85 episodes of  the original syndicated television series, all 85 re-mastered “original edit” episodes of the entire series, all 36 episodes of “Super Dimension Fortress Macross,” all 23 episodes of “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross,” all 25 episodes of “Genesis Climber Mospeada,” the feature The Shadow Chronicles, and up to 11 hours of bonus features from both the series and the film.

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View the trailer here.

Beer League

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/14/19
MVD/FilmRise;
Comedy, B.O. $0.5 million, $14.95 DVD, $24.95 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for nonstop language, including strong sexual references, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Stars Artie Lange, Ralph Macchio, Anthony De Sando, Cara Buono, Jimmy Palumbo, Jerry Minor, Joe Lo Truglio, Seymour Cassel, Laurie Metcalf, Louis Lombardi.

I love this movie. It’s the perfect tonic for the Al Bundy in us all — an ode to camaraderie, teamwork and the art of the great insult.

That description belies a certain temperament, of course, but how one not eyeball a movie headlined by Artie Lange about a softball squad of New Jersey drunks and not expect to find something potentially offensive to ponder? If it was un-PC when it first premiered in 2006, and it most certainly was, it would be hard pressed to even get made in the Twitter-fueled outrage culture of today. And that’s aside from how years of cocaine use have turned Lange’s nose into silly putty.

Co-written by Lange and director Frank Sebastiano (and based on Shakespeare’s Ale League, Sebastiano quips in the commentary), Beer League is the Bad News Bears if the entire team were Buttermakers — a portrait of drunken thirtysomethings whose last shot at glory rests with success in one of those community rec-center slow-pitch softball leagues where the teams consist of bar buddies.

Lange basically plays himself, a guy named Artie whose team is so bad they always end up picking a fight with their main rivals rather than admit defeat. A local cop (a great cameo by Louis Lombardi of “24”) is so fed up with the fights he orders the team that finishes with the worst record to leave the league.

Artie has a personal motivation for winning, as the other team is led by his oldest rival, who has held the upper hand in their feud since high school.

All seems lost until Artie realizes that if his team can stay sober in a league of drunks, they might actually have an advantage.

But Artie can’t seem to get out of the way of his own personal problems, particularly when it comes to his new girlfriend, played by Cara Buono, who later had a prominent role in season four of “Mad Men” as the love interest of Don Draper who gets dumped so he can marry his secretary; most recently she’s been on “Stranger Things” as Mike’s mom.

A few other plot machinations conspire to bring the team to their lowest point just before the championship, leading to a final game one must see to believe. There’s just something special about seeing a batter throw up in mid-swing, a feat Joe Lo Truglio (of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) pulls off with aplomb.

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The late Seymour Cassel, who just died in April, gets some of the film’s best lines and steals nearly every scene he’s in as the crotchety old-timer who pitches for Artie’s team.

Also notable is Jimmy Palumbo as Johnny, who constantly refers to his quest to finish the season with a .700 batting average (“It’s so unfair … it’s like pitching to a healthy Lou Gehrig”).

Artie’s best friend is played by Ralph Macchio, who at the time was basically at the tail end of his Karate Kid fame before a guest appearance on HBO’s “Entourage” led to his casting in this movie and sparked a bit of a career renaissance that brought him full circle with “Cobra Kai.”

Even Tina Fey gets in on the action with a one-line cameo as a gym receptionist. Fey was wrapping up her stint on “Saturday Night Live” at the time and about to debut “30 Rock,” and shows up here visibly pregnant with her first daughter.

This is one of those films that critics are prone to dismiss, and most did at the time, but for the audience in the target demographic, which I suppose would be middle-aged Johnny Six-Packs, it hits the sweet spot. It’s crude, extremely funny and eminently watchable in the vein of The Hangover or Major League, and rife with quotability. My brother and I still toss off zingers from the film to this day.

With its flair for crudeness and apathy toward the human condition, Beer League is a perfect companion piece for 1998’s Dirty Work, which was co-written by Sebastiano and also starred Lange.

The new FilmRise Blu-ray edition of the film is basically an updated pressing of the Echo Bridge Blu-ray from 2008, with a new menu and the same previously released trove of bonus material.

The Lange-Sebastiano commentary ends up being surprisingly serious compared with the tone of the film itself, mainly because in-between Lange laughing about his various drug habits they actually focus on how the film was made.

We get a glimpse of Sebastiano’s directing style in the 19-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, which shows him calling the shots in a Yankee cap and bath robe.

The Blu-ray also includes the minute-long faux “Beer Goggles” commercial that went on to inspire the production of Beer League.

Additional extras include the film’s trailers; a photo gallery; four minutes of Lange recording jokes for the film’s promotional campaign; footage of Lange behind the scenes at “Best Damn Sports Show,” “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” and Cine Vegas (3-4 minutes each); and 19 minutes of cast junket interviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FilmRise Partners for Anti-Poverty-Themed On-Demand Theatrical Screening

Distributor FilmRise has partnered with anti-poverty group Global Citizen for a special (April 24) on-demand theatrical screening of Sprinter, from executive producers Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Richard Jefferson.

The fictional movie showcases Jamaican teenage runner (Dale Elliott) – burdened by an unstable father and an unruly older brother – who hopes a meteoric rise in track-and-field can reunite him with his mother (Lorraine Toussaint), who has lived illegally in the U.S. for over a decade.

The movie also features David Alan Grier, Shantol Jackason, Bryshere Gray and multiple Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt, among others.

International anti-poverty organization Global Citizen is offering a VIP ticket package to attend the FilmRise and Citi/Grove exclusive premiere screening in Los Angeles.

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Sprinter is an authentic look at a teenager struggling to find his way, fulfill his true potential, and reunite with his family, which has been broken apart by extreme poverty,” Sal Scamardo, VP, distribution strategies, FilmRise, said in a statement.

Since 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest platforms around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this film and its campaign to help bring families together, create opportunities and education for all and to help encourage more people to take action in support of a worldwide movement to end extreme poverty,” said Madge Thomas, senior director of global policy and government affairs at Global Citizen.

With over 15,000 titles in a wide range of genres, FilmRise releases include HBO’s multiple Emmy-winning “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”; “Janis: Little Girl Blue,” produced by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney; two-time Academy Award-nominee Julie Delpy’s “Lolo; and the Sundance hit “White Girl”. Television titles include such classics as “Roseanne” and “3rd Rock from the Sun”, as well as Robert Stack hosted series, “Unsolved Mysteries” and Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares.”

Recent releases include “Manifesto” starring two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett; sci-fi drama “Marjorie Prime” starring Jon Hamm and Lois Smith; the box-office hit “My Friend Dahmer” starring Ross Lynch and Anne Heche; and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” starring Chloë Grace Moretz.

 

Six FilmRise Titles, Including Nicolas Cage Starrer ‘Vengeance: A Love Story,’ Coming to Blu-ray in March From MVD

A Nicolas Cage drama, a James Franco genre mash-up and film festival winners are among six FilmRise titles coming to Blu-ray Disc in March from MVD Entertainment Group.

The lineup begins with five titles streeting March 12th.

The Nicolas Cage action-drama Vengeance: A Love Story, a film in the vein of Death Wish, stars Cage as a detective seeking justice for a single mother that is brutally assaulted in front of her 12-year-old daughter.

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth. The story follows Cameron as she’s sent to a gay conversion therapy center where she forms a bond with a group of fellow teenagers, and together they fight for survival. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Bonus features include an audio commentary with director-co-writer Desiree Akhavan and producer-co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele; a behind the scenes photo gallery; the theatrical trailer; and an accolades trailer.

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Clio Barnard’s Dark River, winner of the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, is the story of a woman that returns home to her family farm after the death of her father. Having been gone for more than 15 years, she is forced to face dark memories from her past while attempting to rekindle the relationship with her brother.

Life in the Doghouse is a documentary that showcases the work done by Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta at Danny & Ron’s Rescue. In their 10-plus years of working together, the duo has saved more than 10,000 dogs. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a trailer and a photo gallery.

The final March 12 release is the modern cult classic The Greasy Strangler. Bonus features include audio commentary with director Jim Hosking, Michael St. Michaels and Sky Elobar; exclusive cast and crew Interviews; the original theatrical trailer; the red band trailer; and a teaser trailer.

Due March 26th is Dan Bush’s The Vault, a genre mash-up that opens like a pretty standard heist film about a bank robbery, but the tables take a turn when it’s revealed that the bank is haunted. The Vault Stars James Franco, Taryn Manning and Clifton Collins Jr.

FilmRise Inks Streaming Deals with ITV, MGM and Warner Bros.

Ad-supported movie streaming service FilmRise said it has signed distribution agreements for catalog content with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Warner Bros., among others.

Titles include Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, The Terminator, and the original Blade Runner.”

“We are thrilled that the FilmRise Channel has become a major platform where consumers can watch their favorite films and TV shows,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement.

We have formed a stellar line up of programming thanks to our amazing partners,” said Fisher.

The channel can be found on Roku, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire devices, Apple TV, and other connected devices.

 

Warner’s ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut,’ ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ ‘Selena’ Among Warner Titles Now Available on FilmRise AVOD Service

Blade Runner: The Final Cut, director Ridley Scott’s final cut of the classic 1982 film, including extended scenes and never-before-seen special effects, in addition to five more Warner films are available now on FilmRise’s ad-supported streaming network.

FilmRise licensed the titles from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

“We are excited to be partnering with Warner Bros. in bringing these beloved films to audiences through our streaming network,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “Die-hard fans of Blade Runner deem this final cut as the only version of the cult classic reflecting Ridley Scott’s original artistic vision for the project. The additional five films are undoubtedly part of American culture — classics that fans can view over and over again.”

The five other films available include the Oscar-lauded Million Dollar Baby, starring Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank; Free Willy, the whale tale that spawned three sequels; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 1990 feature starring Corey Feldman; Gremlins, 1984’s comedy-horror film executive produced by Steven Spielberg; and Selena, Jennifer Lopez’s break-out role as recording star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was tragically murdered at 23.

FilmRise Acquires Exclusive U.S. SVOD Rights to ‘CHiPs’

FilmRise has acquired from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution the exclusive U.S. SVOD rights to the 1970s TV show “CHiPs,” starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, according to the company.

The show is available on Prime Video, through FilmRise’s Prime Video Direct self-service program.

“We are thrilled to have concluded a deal with Warner Bros. to bring this classic television favorite to Amazon’s Prime Video audience,” said FilmRise CEO and co-founder Danny Fisher in a statement. “The show is a perfect fit for the Prime Video service, which boasts an ever-expanding catalog of classic film and TV.”

“CHiPs” ran for more than six seasons on NBC. It followed California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers Jon (Wilcox) and Ponch (Estrada) as they patroled the streets of Los Angeles.

FilmRise has also brought other classic TV shows to the Prime platform, including “Hell’s Kitchen” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

FilmRise Signs Deal With ITV Studios for Streaming Rights to Gordon Ramsay Shows

Independent film and TV distribution company FilmRise has signed an exclusive deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for the ad-supported video rights to two TV programs headlined by television personality and chef Gordon Ramsay: the reality series “Hell’s Kitchen” (seasons 1-15) and “Kitchen Nightmares.”

The two shows June 1 became exclusively available for free across the FilmRise streaming network, including its Roku, Xbox, Apple, Amazon Fire TV and Android platforms.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring such iconic reality series, such as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and ‘Kitchen Nightmares,’ to even more audiences,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher. “With our partnership with U.K. powerhouse ITV Studios Global Entertainment, FilmRise is dedicated to providing exceptional programming across a range of platforms to best serve our viewers.”

Others series streaming through FilmRise’s network include the Emmy Award-winning sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun” from Carsey-Werner and “Unsolved Mysteries” with Robert Stack.