Epix is a brand new premium channel owned by Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM Studios. Minimal information has been released regarding the fledgling network. Based on what’s known, things haven’t been looking good. DirecTV, Comcast, and Cablevision have confirmed that they would not carry the channel due to the saturated market. With HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore, Cinemax, and others already on television, it’s clear why Epix would have a tough time getting picked up. You see, the cable providers are the ones who pay out the premium channels in these relationships. There really isn’t any dire need to add Epix to their bills. Luckily, on July 28th, Epix reached a deal with Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS network, who became the channel’s very first distributor.
CEO Mark Greenberg has inferred that Epix will be more similar to HBO than Starz, airing comedy specials, original series, and other special features. It’s first original pilot, “Tough Trade,” created by “Weeds” writer Chris Ouffut, is in the works. A mini-series adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged has also been suggested. Today, Epix took one step forward towards their vision, nabbing Lewis Black’s newest comedy special “Stark Raving Black.”
Standup will star in the special “Stark Raving Black,” which reps the burgeoning pay channel’s first original comedy event.
Spec, to be filmed at Detroit’s Fillmore Theater, will run in December. It will also unspool this fall in theaters in 20 U.S. markets, as well as 25 international territories. An introduction to Epix will be featured during the screenings.
Besides the special, which will run on Epix’s TV and broadband platforms, the deal also includes an online event featuring Black, who will participate in a chat via Epix’s website following the show.
Epix will launch on October 1st and give America yet another reason to stay inside.