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Programming Briefs

7/29/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Cinemax Sets Its Silver-Mark Slate

New YorkCinemax will celebrate its silver anniversary quietly, except on its air.

On Aug. 1, the sister service to premium category leader Home Box Office will feature a blockbuster movie lineup with titles that collectively turned up more than $1 billion at the box office during their theatrical runs.

Among the films to air that day on Cinemax, which network officials said trails only HBO in terms of pay-TV ratings: I, Robot, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, X2, Starsky & Hutch, Men in Black, The Matrix:Revolutions and Bad Boys II.

Fifteen days later, Cinemax will present this year's Oscar winner in the documentary feature category, Born Into Brothels. Premiering at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16 under the “Cinemax Reel Life” flag, Born Into Brothels sheds light on prostitution and the devasting impact it has on young children in the ghettos of Calcutta, India.

C-SPAN to Podcast Three Original Shows

Washington — A trio of C-SPAN original programs are now available as podcasts (at www.c-span.org/podcast).

They are the first C-SPAN programs to leverage the new podcasting technology.

After Words features a guest host interviewing the latest nonfiction writers, while Q&A is a weekly interview series that discusses the lives and careers of individuals from the fields of politics to education and the media. And American Perspectives takes an extended look at recent cultural and political events every Saturday on the public affairs network.

'Monsterfest' to Rage For 9th AMC Year

PhiladelphiaAMC will air the ninth rendition of its “Monsterfest” programming stunt Oct. 23 through 31.

Monsterfest will include original programming, popular horror movies and national and local affiliate-customized promotions to help cable operators drive their high-speed-data services, the network said.

Among the 200 hours of frightful fare on the Monsterfest menu: DVD_TV: Friday the 13th (kicking off the festival Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT); Movies That Shook the World, chronicling The Exorcist; and such theatricals as Scream 2, Arachnophobia, Tremors, Hellraiser and Village of the Damned.

Martha Gets Some TLC Through Deal With DCI

Silver Spring, Md. — Martha Stewart is going to drop in on TLC.

As part of a multifaceted deal between parent Discovery Communications Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., TLC will air installments of the homemaking diva's new syndicated show, Martha, this fall.

Scheduled to launch Sept. 12 in more than 96% of U.S. homes, the syndicated daytime series will encore in a yet-to-be-determined “fringe” slot in the early evening on TLC, according to executives at both companies.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also calls for Omnimedia to develop a 13-installment original series for one of Discovery's services and access to library fare from Stewart's company.

The home-improvement show will focus on six women in transition — including one getting out of rehab and another exiting welfare — who will be guided by a mentor from a renovation-and-design team selected by the Martha Stewart Living staff.

DirecTV Gets Current With New Carriage Pact

San Francisco — Former Vice President Al Gore's Current and DirecTV Inc. signed a new multiyear affiliation agreement that continues the network's carriage on the distributor's “Total Choice” package.

DirecTV has had a carriage deal with Newsworld International and has offered the channel. Current Media LLC, led by Gore, acquired NWI and is slated to relaunch the service as Current, an independent youth-geared network, on Aug. 1.

Most of Current's 20 million subscribers came via DirecTV — which has 14.4 million homes — and its widely distributed Total Choice package. Current will also be offered by Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable.

September