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Showtime Is All For New Comic-Based Animated Series

Brett Merhar's cult comic strip FREE FOR ALL will be brought to life in a new animated series by Showtime Networks, in association with independent animation studio Film Roman to debut in summer 2003 in the U.S. The series of seven episodes follows Johnny and Clay, the strip's cynical, dysfunctional bestfriends, struggling with out-of the ordinary daily woes with Clay's sidekick, Angus, a strung-out ferret. Celebrity voices for the show include Jonathan Silverman (DEACONS FOR DEFENSE, THE SINGLE GUY) as Johnny; Jeremy Piven (SERENDIPITY, HIGHWAY) as Clay; Juliette Lewis (CAPE FEAR, NATURAL BORN KILLERS) as Johnnys love interest Paula; Mitzi McCall (ICE AGE, THE FLINTSTONES COMEDY HOUR) as grandma and Sam McMurray (SUNSHINE STATE, SHOWTIMEs upcoming STEALING SINATRA) as Dad. FREE FOR ALL is co-written and exec produced by Meriwether Williams, who was a head writer on SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. John Hyde, president/CEO of Film Roman, is exec producer with Richard Hull as co-exec producer. Creative exec for Showtime is Beth J. Greenwald. Merhar, creator of the comic strip, which has been syndicated in more than 75 newspapers nationwide since its launch in April 1998, will also serve as co-writer and executive producer. Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME, SHOWTIME BEYOND, SHOWTIME NEXT, SHOWTIME WOMEN, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HDTV and two subscription video on demand services SHOWTIME ON DEMAND and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. For 16 years, Film Roman has been a leading animation production company working on such primetime hits as THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL, as well as the Saturday morning series X-MEN: EVOLUTION. For more program information check out