By Al Giovetti


Pensacola: Wings of Gold

PC Entertainment leader Bethesda Softworks and CBS Enterprises today announced a groundbreaking partnership to produce the first-ever true companion PC series of games for a new television series.

The alliance, combining CBS' program production and marketing skills with Bethesda's superior technology, will launch a series of PC CD-ROM titles based on EYEMARK Entertainment's weekly action hour Pensacola: Wings of Gold, starring award-winner James Brolin, which makes its worldwide premiere in September 1997.

Bethesda will utilize storylines, sets, footage and stars of the series -- which follows the adventures of the world's most elite task force of fighter pilots -- to dynamically recreate on-screen excitement in an interactive medium. Bethesda will produce gripping and authentic flight simulation CD-ROM games using sophisticated 3D graphics and actual footage from the TV series. The software company will create an introductory CD-ROM game and then follow with a series of mission based scenario disks focusing on Pensacola episodes. The game player will be given an opportunity to participate in missions similar to actual episodic missions undertaken in the series. The plan also calls for Bethesda to develop an online version of the game, including a Pensacola contest, which will allow players to participate in aerial combat over the Internet using the same fighter aircraft as in the series.

Pensacola is produced and distributed in syndication nationally by EYEMARK Entertainment and is being sold in all foreign territories by CBS Broadcast International; CBS Licensing and Merchandising manages the diverse licensing efforts for the series. EYEMARK Entertainment, CBS Broadcast International, CBS Licensing and Merchandising and EYEMARK Media Sales (which sells ad time in the series) are all units of CBS Enterprises.

According to Bob Cook, executive vice president, CBS Enterprises, "Since we began developing Pensacola, we've believed that the action series' unique concept and strong, diverse audience appeal would make it the perfect candidate to break new ground in entertainment media. We're impressed with Bethesda Softworks' innovative vision and its justified success in the marketplace. We look forward to working together to turn this partnership into a successful series."

"We are extremely gratified that CBS Enterprises has chosen us to be their technology partner in this exciting new venture," said Christopher Weaver, president, Bethesda. "We want to take the unabashed thrill of being a fighter pilot and transfer it to every Pensacola viewer who owns a personal computer. We intend to make our Pensacola computer series a riveting participatory experience."

Pensacola, which will premiere throughout the U.S. in September, is designed for Saturday evening and will air primarily in that time period nationally. It is already sold to television stations representing more than 96 percent of the U.S. and has been the top-selling new action hour since its availability was announced in January 1997. In addition, the series is already sold throughout Asia and Latin America, and extensively in Eastern and Western Europe. The first of the 22 episodes begins shooting later this month.

James Brolin returns to dramatic series television in the starring role as a tough, fearless Lieutenant Colonel and war hero who, after two decades on the front line, is given a new, equally challenging mission: to find and train the next generation of heroes. Also serving as one of the executive producers, he finds more than just an acting opportunity in the new assignment. According to Brolin, who is a pilot, "I've always admired and fantasized about the elite pilots of our armed forces. I'm thrilled to combine my acting experience with my love of flying in this series."

Created in 1996, CBS Enterprises is responsible for the production, marketing and distribution of programming to broadcast, cable, home video and emerging media worldwide. In September, EYEMARK Entertainment, its domestic syndication and production unit, is launching two new daily series in addition to Pensacola: a daytime version of its successful weekly Martha Stewart Living series, and The Gayle King Show, a daytime talk magazine. Its returning series include the weekly drama Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, hosted by Dan Aykroyd and starring Matt Frewer and Michael Moriarty; Bob Vila's Home Again, and The George Michael Sports Machine. It is also producing, in association with Sports Illustrated Television, The Sports Illustrated for Kids Show, a CBS network Saturday morning series. Internationally, CBS Broadcast International successfully sells a wide range of CBS network entertainment, news and information programs, as well as EYEMARK programming, to virtually every country in the world.

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