Epix Launches Weekly Documentary Block

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Epix will look to complement its theatrical movie lineup with a series of weekly documentaries films launching tonight (Sept. 7).

The Wednesday night documentary block, which will run through February 2012, will feature recent theatrical releases, festival documentaries and cult favorites tackling a wide range of subjects, said EPIX President and CEO Mark Greenberg. The Paramount Pictures/Lionsgate and MGM-owned premium service debuted the block Sept. 7 with the premiere of the critically-acclaimed public education-themed Waiting For Superman.

In addition to the documentary premieres, the network will offer viewers the opportunity to go deeper into the stories with originally-produced feature segments and Q & A sessions with the filmmakers. With Superman, Epix partnered with movie production company Participant Media to create a short film updating the stories of the children featured in the film, according to Greenberg.

Other documentaries set to debut in September and October include Cool It, which examines the debate over global warming; Unlikely Weapon, which focuses on about Pulitzer Prize winning Viet Nam war photographer Eddie Adams; The Harvest, which profiles of migrant child workers in the U.S; and Winnebago Man, which looks at video outtakes that created the first viral Internet sensation.

Greenberg said he hopes the documentaries along with the related original programming will resonate with the network's young audience. He added that the documentaries draw more viewers on the network's online and on demand offerings than on the linear channel.

"We think that today's younger generation is more socially responsible than any since our generation was with the Vietnam War, and we think there's a lot of socially relevant and pop culture issues that we want to deal with that we can share with that audience," Greenberg told Multichannel News.

Greenberg also said that if the documentary block proves successful, the network could begin producing original documentary projects, although he would not reveal specifics.

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