TNT Original CROSSFIRE TRAIL Rides in as Number-One Motion Picture in Basic Cable History

Premiere of Western Starring Tom Selleck Posts 9.6 Rating/13.2 Share, Delivers 7.7 Million Households

Turner Network Television's (TNT) premiere of its newest Original motion picture, Crossfire Trail, on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) posted a stellar 9.6 rating/13.2 share (7,736,000 households), making it the highest-rated and most-watched movie-original or theatrical-in the history of basic cable television.

Crossfire Trail's premiere performance convincingly surpassed the previous highest-rated movie of all time, The China Lake Murders (8.4 rating, USA Network, Jan. 30, 1990, 8 p.m.). The premiere of the Louis L'Amour Western, starring Tom Selleck, also overwhelmingly delivered key adult demographic categories, attracting 4.7 million adults 18-49 and nearly six million adults 25-54, more than double the second-ranked program.

The premiere performance of Crossfire Trail led TNT to a sweep of primetime household rating and delivery (2.6 rating/2,065,000 households) and key adult audiences 18-49 (1,359,000) and 25-54 (1,570,000) for the week among all advertising supported basic cable networks. The immediate 10 p.m. encore of Crossfire Trail also performed exceptionally well, earning a 3.5 rating/6.1 share and delivering 2.8 million households.

Since launched in August of 2000, TNT's weekend prime time movie strategy continues to pay dividends (increases of 18 percent in household delivery; 22 percent in adults 18-49 and 17 percent in adults 25-54) compared to the same period last year. The network's movie schedule this past weekend performed well, including the network's 1999 Original Western, Purgatory, posting a 3.4 rating (2,715,000 households) on Jan. 21 at 4 p.m.; The Quick And The Dead, posting a 2.9 rating (2,350,000 households) on Jan 21 at 6:01 p.m.; and Wyatt Earp, posting a 2.9 rating (2,345,000 households) on Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.

TNT will encore Crossfire Trail Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 10 p.m. ET/PT and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. ET/PT. Mark Harmon, Virginia Madsen, Wilford Brimley, Barry Corbin and Brad Johnson co-star. Selleck and Michael Brandman (TNT's Last Stand at Saber River, The Heidi Chronicles) executive-produce, and Simon Wincer (Lonesome Dove, The Phantom) directs from the screenplay by Charles Robert Carner (The Fixer, Vanishing Point).

Turner Network Television, currently seen in 80.2 million homes, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, advertiser-supported service offering original motion pictures and miniseries; original series, non-fiction specials and live events; contemporary films from the world's largest film library, the combined Turner and Warner Bros. film libraries; exciting NBA and Wimbledon Tennis action; exclusive coverage of both the 2000 Winter and 2001 Goodwill Games; and popular television series.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., an AOL Time Warner Inc. company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

Source: Turner Entertainment Research from Nielsen Media Research data.
Rating period: Week of Jan. 15-21, 2001.
All times are Eastern/Pacific
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Lauren Hammann 404/885-0797 502521