9-18-13 12:00 PM EDT | Email Article

"Best British TV" Streaming Service Debuts the Highly Anticipated New Season of the #1 Dramedy Only a Month After Its UK Premiere

Acorn TV is Also Featuring the Premieres of the Newest Seasons of Hit Detective Dramas VERA Starring Two-Time Oscar® Nominee Brenda Blethyn and ABOVE SUSPICION Starring Kelly Reilly and Ciaran Hinds

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RLJ Entertainment's (Nasdaq:RLJE) Acorn TV, the first streaming service focused on the best of British TV in North America, announces the exclusive U.S. premiere of Doc Martin, Series 6 beginning on October 7, 2013. Called "completely addictive" (Slate) and "absolutely bloody hilarious" (London Evening Standard), Doc Martin, starring BAFTA winnerMartin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly, Shakespeare in Love), is Acorn's newest best-selling series and, after Downton Abbey, is the biggest success story on public television in recent years. In the U.K., Doc Martin is ITV's highest-rated drama series with more than 10 million viewers, while in the U.S. it's the #1 series on many public television stations and has millions of viewers across the country. The series is also a global phenomenon having sold to more than 70 countries, with licensed local versions in France, Germany, Spain, Russia, among many more. Available at www.Acorn.TV and via its popular Roku channel, Acorn TV begins exclusively streaming Series 6 on Monday, October 7, with a new episode added each Monday through the season final on November 25. Currently, Acorn TV has all previous episodes readily available for catch-up viewing.

Though the U.S. premiere of most British series are several months after their initial British broadcast, Acorn TV can greatly reduce the broadcast window and offer Series 6 only one month after its season premiere on ITV in the U.K. In the U.S., Series 6 will not begin airing on public television until February 2014 or be available on DVD until March 25, 2014, so Acorn TV has a four month exclusive window.

Doc Martin stars Martin Clunes in an uproarious lead performance as a tactless, self-centered, and uptight doctor. After hotshot London surgeon Martin Ellingham develops a crippling fear of blood, he reluctantly becomes the lone doctor in a quirky seaside town, where he quickly offends the eccentric villagers with his dour and dismissive bedside manner. Series 6 features the highly anticipated wedding of Martin and Louisa (Caroline Catz, Murder in Suburbia).

On Oct. 7th, Acorn TV will also add the U.S. premieres of Vera, Series 3, called "one of the best mysteries... in the last decade" (The Baltimore Sun), and Above Suspicion, Set 3, called "the most talked about cop show on British TV since Prime Suspect" (BestBritishTV). In Vera, two-time Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn (Secrets & Lies, Pride & Prejudice) stars as Vera Stanhope—a brilliant police detective with a disheveled exterior, a sharp tongue, and an uncanny ability to solve crimes. Above Suspicion is based on the bestselling novels by Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect) and stars Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes feature films) as a young detective trying to prove herself with Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Game of Thrones) as her flawed and charismatic boss. Acorn TV is also adding the U.S. premiere of Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey documentary as well as The Broker's Man starring Kevin Whately (Inspector Lewis) and The Last Detective starring Peter Davison (Dr. Who).

Miguel Penella, Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Entertainment, Inc., said, "Doc Martin is a perfect example of the kind of hugely popular British content that we are excited to exclusively offer Acorn TV's subscribers. There are millions of British drama, comedy, and mystery fans in the U.S., so we're thrilled to offer more exclusive content and shorter timeframes between when programs air in their home country and the U.S."

Currently, Acorn TV features a catalog of more than 70 series for catch-up viewing and discovery of new series, with no set end dates. In September, Acorn TV added the U.S. premiere of Murdoch Mysteries, Season 6, a hit period detective series, as well as all 22 previous episodes of Foyle's War. Additionally, the three new Foyle's War episodes are being added the day after they premiere on MASTERPIECE Mystery! on PBS. Acorn TV also features all previous episodes of many popular British series, including George Gently, Midsomer Murders, The Forsyte Saga starring Damian Lewis (Homeland), iconic miniseries I, Claudius, as well as more than 50 episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot and the U.S. premiere of Jack Irish starring Guy Pearce.

Called the "chief curators of the best Brit TV" by TIME magazine, RLJ Entertainment's Acorn brand holds exclusive North American distribution rights to the most critically acclaimed British programs, which are available for streaming on Acorn TV and from Acorn in lavishly packaged DVDs/Blu-rays. RLJ Entertainment also manages the literary estate of Agatha Christie, the best-selling novelist of all time, and owns the hugely popular period detective series Foyle's War.

Full access to Acorn TV is available to press upon request.

To watch Acorn TV via computers, iPhones, iPads, etc.: www.Acorn.TV

To add the Acorn TV channel on your Roku: https://owner.roku.com/add/acorntv

About Acorn TV

Available at www.Acorn.TV, Acorn TV is the first British TV focused streaming service in North America. Given the limited broadcast options for U.S. viewers to watch first rate international programs, Acorn TV offers U.S. fans the opportunity to not only stream many of their favorite series but, more importantly, discover new and classic programs previously unavailable to U.S. audiences. Acorn TV offers a free 30-day trial and thereafter is just $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Acorn TV subscribers also receive free shipping on all orders from Acorn's catalog and website, AcornOnline.com. Launched in July 2011, Acorn TV is accessible on the #1 streaming player, Roku, as well as computers, and through the browsers on iPhones and iPads. It is also available on many other portable devices.

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq:RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (feature films, stand-up comedy), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (documentaries), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.

Via its relationship with Agatha Christie Limited, a company that RLJE owns 64% of, RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.  And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.

RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its nascent branded digital subscription channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests.  RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.

CONTACT: RLJ Entertainment, Chad Campbell,
         301.608.2115 *138, ccampbell@rljentertainment.com

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. logo

GlobeNewswire, Inc. 2013
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