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ION Secures Blockbuster Broadcast Premieres

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.: ION Television said today it finalized multiple film agreements that provide the network with the broadcast premiere rights to four new titles. The agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution provides ION with the broadcast premiere rights to the Academy Award-winning feature film “March of the Penguins.” In addition, ION Television has inked a deal with NBC Universal Domestic Distribution for the broadcast premiere rights to the theatrical releases “The Return,” “Breach” and “Miami Vice.”

The broadcast premieres will start this month and run through December: “The Return,” premieres Saturday, Oct. 31, with Sarah Michelle Gellar as a young woman who, after a car crash when she was 11 years old, has visions of a town she’s never been to and of people she’s never met.

“Breach,” debuts Sunday, Nov. 1, with Chris Cooper, Laura Linney and Ryan Phillippe. Based on a true story, FBI upstart Eric O’Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was ultimately convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union.

“Miami Vice” will air on broadcast television for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 8 with Colin Farrell as Sonny Crocket and Jamie Foxx as Ricardo Tubbs.

“March of the Penguins” debuts on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7 and 9 p.m., ET. The documentary follows the annual migration of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica.

ION Network was launched in 2006 from the former Paxson properties and built a programming line-up on off-network acquisitions like CBS’s “Ghost Whisperer, “NCIS,” and “Criminal Minds.” The network picked up several movies from Warner Bros in May, including “The Departed” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”

More on ION’s programming deals:
May 6, 2009: “ION Picks Up Warner Bros. Movies”The package includes “Heat,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Passenger 57,” and “Assassins” among others.