The Force is coming to Turner. The media company announced today that it has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement for the Star Wars movie collection, becoming the first network to sign a domestic deal with The Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox that includes the unreleased saga ‘Rogue One’. The deal grants TNT & TBS the exclusive linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to Star Wars.
The agreement with Disney for 10 films includes the network premiere windows to last year’s record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens and this year’s highly anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters on December 16, 2016. The Disney agreement also includes five of the six original classic Star Wars films, as well as the network television premieres of the next three yet-to-be-released movies. The installment that launched the franchise, Star Wars: A New Hope, comes to Turner through a separate arrangement with 20th Century Fox, thus making Turner the only company with basic cable rights to all 11 titles in the collection.
“The Star Wars movies and characters are beloved across generations, captivating audiences and breaking box office records around the globe for nearly four decades,” said Deborah K. Bradley, executive vice president of networks optimization, content strategy and commercialization for Turner. “Through this deal, TNT and TBS will be the exclusive basic cable home of one of the most iconic, enduring and valuable movie franchises of all time, giving viewers the chance to watch this amazing collection from the very beginning.”
The Star Wars movies will come to Turner beginning Tuesday, September 20, when TNT kicks off six consecutive nights of the original classic films (complete schedule below). The movies will also air in December, in conjunction with Disney’s theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. TNT is set to premiere last year’s blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens in early 2018, followed in 2019 by this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
TNT presents the original six Star Wars films over six consecutive nights, starting Tuesday, Sept. 20
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace with play on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) rescue Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman), ruler of a peaceful planet invaded by dark forces. On their escape, they discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a child prodigy who is unusually strong in the Force.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones will play on Wednesday, Sept. 21. When Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), he discovers his love for her…and his own darker side. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) uncovers a secret clone army as the galaxy marches towards full-scale war.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith will then air on Thursday, Sept. 22. Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. The sinister Sith Lord seizes control of the Republic and corrupts Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to be his dark apprentice, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) must confront his fallen friend in an epic lightsaber duel.
Star Wars: A New Hope will air on Friday, Sept. 23. Young farm boy Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is thrust into a galaxy of adventure when he intercepts a distress call from the captive Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). The event launches him on a daring mission to rescue her from the clutches of Darth Vader and the evil Empire.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back will premiere on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Rebels scatter after the Empire attacks their base on the ice planet Hoth. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are pursued by Imperials, while Luke (Mark Hamill) trains with Jedi Master Yoda. Luke must battle Darth Vader and learns the shocking truth of his past.
Finally, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi will air at 8pm on Sunday after an all-day marathon starting at 5am. The upcoming ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is the first of the Star Wars standalone films. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things and, in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.