(Los Angeles, CA – May 14, 2008) Entertainment Studios, Inc., a multi-media content provider and the largest independent producer/distributor of first-run syndicated television programming, today announced a charitable partnership with the non-profit organization Autism Speaks. The “Comics Unleashed”/Autism Speaks association will involve several charitable efforts, including public service announcements and comedian memorabilia auctions. Proceeds raised will be benefit Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization.
A daily half-hour comedy series, “Comics Unleashed” has been renewed in New York on WCBS, Los Angeles on KABC, and in Chicago on WCIU for Fall 2008 and Fall 2009. Currently cleared in over 90% of U.S. television households, “Comics Unleashed” was also renewed in 17 Clear Channel Television markets--one of the largest television group deals in Clear Channel's history. “Comics Unleashed” excels as a daily half-hour comedy talk show, offering a solution to broadcast television stations with declining numbers of off-network sitcoms. With 131 produced episodes featuring 337 comedians, “Comics Unleashed” has helped fill this void, and is set to produce an additional 260 episodes for the next 2 seasons.
The first syndicated show to premiere in High Definition, “Comics Unleashed” was created and developed by Byron Allen, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, Inc. “Autism is an epidemic and we at Entertainment Studios are committed to raising awareness of this troubling disorder which affects millions of families,” said Allen.
“We thank Byron Allen and Entertainment Studios for this opportunity to reach new audiences with our message of autism awareness and to raise funds in support of the work we do on behalf of individuals with autism and their families,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks.
Comedians appearing on “Comics Unleashed” so far include: Dane Cook, Howie Mandel, Margaret Cho, Pauly Shore, Dennis Miller, Kim Coles, George Wallace, Tommy Davidson, Adam Carolla, Norm MacDonald, Larry Miller, Aries Spears, Anthony Anderson, Bill Bellamy, Brad Garrett, Caroline Rhea, Rich Little, Cedric The Entertainer, Chelsea Handler, David Brenner, David Alan Grier, Tom Arnold, Mike Epps, Don “DC” Curry, Earthquake, Carol Leifer, Harland Williams, Finesse Mitchell, Monique, Jamie Kennedy, Jimmy “JJ” Walker, Jon Lovitz, Rita Rudner, Sinbad, Tom Green, Wayne Brady, Katt Williams, and many more.
“Comics Unleashed” boasts clearances with group-owned stations including: CBS, ABC, Weigel, Cox, Clear Channel, Hearst Argyle, Acme, Belo, Granite, Scripps Howard, Gannett, Raycom Media, Nextstar, Pegasus, Hubbard, Meredith, Post Newsweek, LIN, Entravision, Lincoln Financial, Landmark, Freedom, Barrington, Banks, Gray, and Comp Corp.
About Entertainment Studios
Entertainment Studios, Inc. produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 15 television programs, making it the largest independent producer/distributor of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. With our 10 unique branded channels, Entertainment Studios is now one of the largest providers of video content to MySpace. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners. Our home entertainment division, Entertainment Studios Home Entertainment (ESHE), is becoming one of the premier independent suppliers of DVD, CD and umd™ products. With a library of over 4,000 hours of owned content and a growing array of licensed titles, ESHE markets and distributes a collection of films, television programs, concerts, fitness, and children's direct-to-video programming. Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded the company in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Raleigh.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Wright also serves on the board of directors of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND Corporation and Mission Product, LLC. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.