Sony Movie Channel to Debut in U.K. With ‘Manhattan Murder Mystery’

Woody Allen
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"If it wasn't for Sony Classics, the public would never get a chance to see a lot of wonderful films, and a lot of gifted film directors would go undistributed."

Woody Allen whodunit kicks off branded movie channel outside U.S.

LONDON – Sony Pictures Television Networks will launch its second Sony branded channel in the U.K., Sony Movie Channel, with Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery starring Diane Keaton and Anjelica Huston.

The Sony-branded dedicated movie channel will be aired on BSkyB’s platform as part of the satcaster’s basic package and debuts Thursday May 3 here.

Sony Pictures Television svp, broadcast and channel development Kate Marsh told THR the latest addition to Sony branded digital channels aims to deliver “audience themed seasons” and hand-picked contemporary titles from the “1980s, 1990s and the noughties.”

Said Marsh: “We’re not a 'classics' channel and we won’t be airing black and white silent movies. We will also program movies from other studios, you’ll see some titles from MGM for example, and other studio output will follow.”

The channel follows Sony’s launch last April of Sony Entertainment Television channel, a female – skewed 25 – 54 age digital offering carrying shows such as U.S. comedies Community and Til Death as well as costume drama The Tudors and all the seasons of hit Brit spy drama Spooks.

The movie channel’s opening night will follow Allen’s movie with Tim Burton’s Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor and then sci-fi actioner Resident Evil: Extinction with Milla Jovovich.

Marsh said the channel will also include a “Movies at 10 p.m.” slot in launch month including titles such as Mona Lisa Smile, Closer, Suspect Zero and The Missing and a series of “audience themed seasons” such as a thriller season with titles Panic Room starring Jodie Foster, the Jessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow starrer Hush and The Forgotton with Julianne Moore.