AMC to Drop 'Classic', Add Ads


After adding a slow but steady infusion of modern films over the past two
years, American Movie Classics will abandon its classic pedigree this fall to
offer more contemporary and younger-skewing movies.

The programming transformation, officially announced Friday,
will include more original series and specials.

It will also be accompanied by additional advertising breaks for the
once-commercial-free network and 'minimal' rate-fee increases, AMC Networks
president Kate McEnroe said.

For classic-movie aficionados, AMC will debut a commercial-free, digital
service, AMC Hollywood Classics, in October, featuring films from the 1930s,
1940s and 1950s.

The network will also debut a new on-air look in October and no longer refer
to itself as American Movie Classics, but rather AMC.

The changes reflect the network's desire to adjust to the changing mood of
Hollywood, which is reaching younger audiences and embracing more independent
films, as well as blockbusters.

The exclusive home for older film titles when it launched in 1984, the
network now competes with commercial-free Turner Classic Movies.

What AMC won't do is get involved in bidding wars with general-entertainment
channels like Turner Network Television, TBS Superstation, USA Network and FX
for windows to recent blockbuster films.

The network will boost its original programming lineup via the launch of
several new series including DVD TV, a behind-the-scenes look at a
different movie each week.

AMC also plans a fall premiere for its first animated series, Monsters
, which focuses on 'real monsters' applying for roles in horror

The network, which started running four minutes per hour
of commercial 'interruptions' earlier this year, will double its advertising
inventory to eight minutes in October, McEnroe said.

That inventory will still be 40 percent below traditional network ad time,
she added.