CBS Productions and Reader's Digest Ink Deal to Develop Movies and Mini-series

Posted on May 14, 1999

CBS Productions and Reader's Digest Association, Inc. have entered into a new multi-year agreement to develop television movies and mini-series based on the personal dramas chronicled in Reader's Digest magazine. The announcement was made today by Nancy Tellem, P resident, CBS Entertainment, and Christopher Willcox, Editor-in-Chief, worldwide Reader's Digest magazine and Senior Vice President, Reader's Digest Association.

The Digest's trademark stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances will be the basis for a new long-form franchise for CBS under the exclusive working banner of "From the pages of Reader's Digest" or "Reader's Digest Presents." Reader's Digest has made a large inventory of articles available for possible development.

"The Reader's Digest name, alone, immediately conjures the idea of relatable and compelling personal dramas, told from a first-person point-of view," said Tellem. "That, coupled with the wealth of Reader's Digest stories, promises a long, successful partnership for us."

"Reader's Digest is delighted to join with CBS in bringing our dramatic stories to television," said Willcox. "Our 50 million U.S. readers have learned they can depend on The Digest each month to bring them powerful narratives. We look forward to introducing our readers and others new to the magazine to Reader's Digest on television. Teaming up with CBS will both extend our reach and build on the bedrock strength of the Reader's Digest brand."

As part of the agreement, CBS and Reader's Digest will also offer each other cross-promotional opportunities: Reader's Digest will advertise the telefilms in the magazine; CBS will offer spots at the end of each broadcast to market videocassettes of the presentation through direct response ads. CBSP, which is responsible for financing, developing and producing the movies, will retain the movie rights for domestic and international distribution, music and merchandising. Reader's Digest, which will designate an active executive producer for each project, will control print publication and video distribution rights.