Electronic Arts Confirmed to be Developing LOTR Videogames - New Line press release reveals a few Lord of the Rings tidbits

A New Line Cinema press release annnouncing Jim Rosenthal's promotion to president of New Line Television reveals a few items of interest to Lord of the Rings fans -- like confirmation of the rumors that Electronic Arts has obtained the films' videogame license.


Press Release

Jim Rosenthal Named President of New Line Television

LOS ANGELES-- March 13, 2001--Jim Rosenthal has been named president of New Line Television, it was jointly announced today by Bob Shaye, chairman and chief executive officer of New Line Cinema, and Michael Lynne, president and chief operating officer of New Line Cinema.

A long-time New Line business development and new media executive, Rosenthal will take over the helm of the studio's television division immediately. He will work closely with the unit's senior managers: Laura Armstrong, executive vice president of Television Development; David Spiegelman, executive vice president of Television Distribution; and Dave Imhoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising for New Line Cinema.

Rosenthal had previously served as president of New Media and Business Development for the studio. In that capacity, he worked closely with the television unit in evaluating and structuring many of their deals and production arrangements.

"Jim brings a fresh perspective to the division and he is uniquely qualified to lead New Line's television and merchandising efforts," Shaye said.

"He is one of the company's strongest managers and he has been one of our most trusted senior business advisors for many years. Moving forward with Jim, we have placed New Line Television in the care of an executive who has helped structure many of the division's deals and is intimately familiar with the production, distribution and development team we have in place," Lynne said.

New Line Television is producing Breaking News, a midseason replacement scheduled to debut in early 2002 on TNT; Carmen Brown, a hip-hop rock opera in association with MTV; and Kung Pow!, an action-comedy hour for USA Network.

New Line Television has an arrangement with Warner Bros. Television in which the two companies are jointly working towards developing primetime programming for network television. In addition, the studio also has a pact with Court TV to develop projects based on cases covered by the cable network.

In first-run syndication, New Line Television is currently distributing The Lost World, which is being cleared for its third season. In addition, the company is in the process of launching Hard Knox, a new action hour debuting this Fall starring Lee Majors.

"With The Mask, Mortal Kombat and Dumb and Dumber, New Line Television has successfully translated hit films into original television properties. We are a franchise-oriented company and Laura, her team and I will work closely with New Line Production President Toby Emmerich to share talent, industry relationships and access to New Line's slate of features as we develop new programming opportunities. Ultimately, we want to strike deals like we have with Brett Ratner and Ben Stiller and provide a home for filmmakers who are seeking to creatively bridge both our feature film and television divisions," said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal's expanded responsibilities also include the studio's licensing and merchandising department. The unit is currently embarked on a full-scale worldwide push to support New Line's highly anticipated adventure trilogy The Lord of the Rings.

Under the direction of Imhoff, the licensing department has already attracted key licensees such as Toy Biz, which has the master toy license; Electronic Arts, which is developing and distributing video games based on the franchise; Applause Inc., which has the master gift license; and HarperCollins UK, among others [Emphasis added -- David]. The division will soon begin working on a major licensing program to support the next installment of the Austin Powers franchise.

"I am very excited to work with the terrific team at New Line Television," Rosenthal said. "They have already achieved great success and I look forward to working with them and taking full advantage of all of the resources at our disposal, especially across AOL Time Warner. We have great strategic partners and a development slate that will continue to generate the kind of distinctive and original programming that has been the hallmark of New Line Cinema's brand. David Spiegelman and our TV sales division continues to generate significant revenues from our feature films as well as our television product. In addition, the licensing division has an exciting year ahead with the December release of The Fellowship of the Ring."

Rosenthal has been New Line's chief strategist in building a diversified new media portfolio. He helped develop and will continue to oversee New Line's online store (www.newline.com/shop), as well as the company's online auction site (www.newline.auction.com), which sells original props and collectible costumes from New Line and Fine Line films. [Emphasis added. My birthday's coming up in only a couple of months, so start your shopping early! -- David]

Rosenthal also manages the company's outside investments. As head of business development, Rosenthal focused on strategic planning, new business opportunities and other initiatives across New Line.

Prior to working at New Line Cinema, Rosenthal was a senior associate with the management consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton. At Booz, Allen, he focused on business strategy and new business evaluation for media and entertainment clients. Rosenthal worked for Booz, Allen in its New York, Singapore and Sydney offices.

Rosenthal graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in economics.

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