It's "Showtime" For TOKYOPOP'S GTO Anime!

Oct 8th 2003
Successful Series Set to Debut on Showtime Networks' SHO Next This December

LOS ANGELES (October 8, 2003)-As the legendary Great Teacher Onizuka would put it... school's in session! TokyoPop Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Showtime Networks Inc. to bring the critically acclaimed and hilarious GTO anime to TV viewers. The 43-episode series begins airing on the Network's SHO Next channel in December.

Based on Tohru Fujisawa's hugely popular manga, GTO is the story of Eikichi Onizuka-a 22-year-old ex-biker who becomes a teacher to make a difference. Unfortunately, he's also crude, foul-mouthed, and has a hair-trigger temper! Using his street smarts to deal with colleagues, students and troublemakers, Onizuka finds that he, too, has many lessons to learn as he strives to become the greatest high school teacher in the world!

A runaway hit in Japan, GTO inspired both a blockbuster movie and long-running live-action television series-Tokyo's equivalent to M.A.S.H. for its claim to the most watched finale in TV history. This real-life urban drama is loaded with enough comedy and action to make it a phenomenon here in the United States as well. In fact, TOKYOPOP has already exceeded sales expectations with its GTO manga and DVD series.

"GTO's comedic wit makes it the perfect fit for the SHO Next audience," said Steve Galloway, TOKYOPOP's Executive Director of Development. "The dialogue is sharp, and the series is filled with characters and situations that a lot of people will relate to-whether familiar with anime or not."

"Showtime is pleased to bring this hit series to an American audience," said Gary Garfinkel, Showtime Networks Vice President of Acquisitions. "With the increasing popularity of anime, we feel fortunate to have acquired this quality-driven series and view GTO as an ideal show for our SHO Next audience."

The series was brought into Showtime by Director of Acquisitions Larry Greenberg who negotiated the deal with TOKYOPOP's Steve Galloway.

This deal marks TOKYOPOP's third anime property on television -- Reign: The Conqueror aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim this year, and Rave Master is set to debut on Cartoon Network's Toonami block in 2004.

SHO Next is Showtime's "interactive playground," targeting Gen Y adults (ages 18-24). This channel is comprised of about 50 movies a month, including first-run theatricals and original pictures, plus short films and animation. With a corresponding website at www.shonext.com, SHO Next features content that lives both on the channel and the web.

About TokyoPop Inc.
TokyoPop Inc. is the leading North American publisher of manga, the fastest growing segment within the publishing industry. With exclusive rights to hundreds of licensed and original book, video and music properties, the company has rapidly become a media convergence leader. TOKYOPOP has millions of books in print and publishes many hit manga series, including Love Hina, Chobits, Rave Master, Initial D, GTO, Battle Royale and Cowboy Bebop. The company pioneered Cine-Manga(tm), releasing titles such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Lizzie McGuire, Spy Kids 2, Kim Possible and Jackie Chan Adventures. TOKYOPOP television properties include Reign: The Conqueror and the upcoming Rave Master, both airing on Cartoon Network. As a licensor, TOKYOPOP represents merchandising rights for Rave Master, Initial D, Stray Sheep and others. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com for additional information.

About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL(tm) and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO(tm), SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HDTV®, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(tm). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL®, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME EXTREME® is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

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