Exclusive New "Monty Python" Specials Slated to Premiere in 2006 Only on PBS
"MONTY PYTHON'S PERSONAL BEST" Reflects Favorite Moments from Original
Series and Movies with Additional New Footage
"Monty Python's Flying Circus" Originally Aired in U.S. on Public Television, Series Returns to PBS in Spring 2006
Beverly Hills, CA - July 13, 2005 - PBS announced today that six new Monty Python specials are in production for broadcast on PBS in 2006. Each of the exclusive to PBS six one-hour programs will focus on one member of the original Monty Python troupe - Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones - and showcase favorite clips from the group's television series and movies, mixed with new footage. The five living Pythons - Cleese, Idle, Gilliam, Palin and Jones - will each produce and write their own episode, with the five collaborating on a sixth special to honor deceased member Chapman.
"PBS jumped at the chance to be the exclusive home to six, new Monty Python specials," said John F. Wilson, PBS Sr. Vice President and Co-Chief Programming Executive. "American audiences first discovered the Pythons' 'upper class twits, the Lumberjack Song and Dead Parrot' on public television and we're looking forward to introducing more 'persistently silly' antics from these beloved characters."
The "Pythons" burst onto the scene in October 1969 when "Monty Python's Flying Circus" debuted in Britain on the BBC. The series' 45 episodes ran until December 1974. American audiences were first introduced to such phrases as "Nudge, nudge, wink, wink," "naughty bits" and "nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!" when local PBS stations obtained broadcast rights to the series. Beginning in Spring 2006, PBS stations will be able to introduce a whole new generation to the series when all 47 episodes will be available for broadcast.
In addition to the television series, the group released several feature-length films including Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975), The Life of Brian (1979) and Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982). In 2005 Monty Python's Spamalot premiered on Broadway to critical and audience acclaim and won the Tony Award for Best Musical (2005).
MONTY PYTHON'S PERSONAL BEST is a production of Python (Monty) Pictures, Ltd.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. Video resources for educators are available at www.shoppbs.com/teachers. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (www.pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
Carrie Johnson, PBS; 703/739-5129; firstname.lastname@example.org