Fairy Tales, Bedtime Classics and Other Magical StoriesLead HBO's Fall Family Programming Lineup

July 15, 1999

Highlighted By The Sissy Duckling, Written By Harvey Fierstein And Narrated By Sharon Stone, And Goodnight Moon And Other Sleepytime Tales, Featuring Voices Such As Tony Bennett, Billy Crystal, Lauryn Hill And Susan Sarandon

HBO is telling tales this fall. From classic fairy tales with a feminist twist to heartwarming bedtime stories, from historic narratives to fantasy yarns, there's fun for every member of the family. New specials debuting on HBO include THE SISSY DUCKLING, written by Harvey Fierstein and narrated by Sharon Stone, and GOODNIGHT MOON AND OTHER SLEEPYTIME TALES, a celebration of bedtime stories featuring celebrity voices such as Tony Bennett, Billy Crystal, Lauryn Hill and Susan Sarandon (who reads the classic "Goodnight Moon"). These exclusive presentations join a previously announced family programming lineup that also includes new specials in the HAPPILY EVER AFTER: FAIRY TALES FOR EVERY CHILD series, the new monthly series THE WORST WITCH and more DEAR AMERICA specials.

"Modern and classic literature are great sources of stories, and presenting them to HBO viewers has become a tradition," said Sheila Nevins, executive vice president, original programming, HBO. "Whether we're bringing fresh twists to timeless tales or presenting new favorites, quality remains the hallmark of HBO's family programming."

HBO's fall family programming lineup includes:

THE SISSY DUCKLING - Once upon a time, a duck by the name of Elmer didn't want to play sports -- he liked to play make-believe instead. Because he was different, the other ducks made fun of him, but that didn't mean he couldn't be a hero to his family and flock. Written by Harvey Fierstein, the animated tale of tolerance and understanding is narrated by Sharon Stone and features the voices of Ed Asner, Andy Dick, Melissa Etheridge, Fierstein, Debi Mazar, Kathy Najimy, Dan Butler, Estelle Getty and Stephen Root, and an original song performed by Fierstein and Dionne Warwick. Debuts Tuesday, Sept. 14 (7:15-8:00 p.m. ET).

GOODNIGHT MOON AND OTHER SLEEPYTIME TALES - This heartwarming special celebrates the time-honored tradition of bedtime stories, combining children's anecdotes and animated segments. The all-star lineup includes Natalie Cole, Billy Crystal and Susan Sarandon (who reads "Goodnight Moon") narrating famous bedtime classics, and songs by Tony Bennett, Lauryn Hill, Patti LaBelle and Aaron Neville. Debuts in December.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER: FAIRY TALES FOR EVERY CHILD - Giving each classic tale a feminist twist this season, this acclaimed animated show features a talent lineup of top contemporary authors, legendary feminist icons, and the voices of dozens of leading Hollywood stars and political figures. Upcoming episodes are "The Bremen Town Musicians" (Aug. 12), "The Empress' Nightingale" (Sept. 16), "The Happy Prince" (October) and "Henny Penny" (November), which features a political theme and cast.

THE WORST WITCH - This live-action series follows the misadventures of young Mildred Hubble at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches in the English countryside. Shot on location in England and Canada, the enchanting show is based on the hit book series by Jill Murphy, which has sold more than two million copies in Britain alone. The series launched this month, with a new episode debuting each month through December.

DEAR AMERICA -- Scholastic Productions, producers of the award-winning hit series "Goosebumps" and "The Magic School Bus," brings the best-selling children's book series to HBO in this live action series. Inspired by actual letters, diaries and events, the popular books tell fictional, personal stories about heroic young women during important periods in American history. New episodes debuting this fall include "Standing in the Light" (September), "So Far from Home" (October) and "The Winter of Red Snow" (November).

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