The documentary “Pop Star on Ice”, which features Johnny Weir, is set to premiere on Sundance Channel. The film received good reviews in its limited theatrical run.
The Sundance Channel also has announced that its series — “Be Good Johnny Weir” — will premiere Jan. 18, 2010 at 10 p.m.
“I think it is incredible. It has been a long journey,” Weir told IFS prior to the film’s theatrical debut in June, “I have been having people filming me for a reality show and documentary [for several years]. It is hard to get instant gratification in the TV and film worlds. Everything takes so long and there are hundreds of people that all have to be in agreement about one tiny detail. To have it finally coming on is an incredible time. … It is very exciting.”
“Pop Star on Ice” features Weir as he struggles to overcome his disappointment at the 2006 Winter Olympics and live up to his natural talent on the ice. The eight-part original series “Be Good Johnny Weir” picks up the story as Weir trains and tries to earn a berth to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The looming question throughout — according to the Sundance Channel PR machine — is whether or not Weir avoid the distractions that make him such a pop culture sensation and focus on winning.
“Pop Star on Ice” is directed and produced by James Pellerito and David Barba. “Be Good Johnny Weir” is directed by Pellerito and Barba who will also serve as executive producers and produced by Original Media (“LA Ink”, “The Rachel Zoe Project”.)
“Together this documentary and series tell the hugely entertaining tale of a very independent quest for greatness” said Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel EVP and GM. “Weir takes the art of skating to a higher level, and we’re excited to give our viewers the chance to follow this artist across the ice.”
The series “Be Good Johnny Weir” will air on at 10;30 pm with one episode focusing on Weir’s Olympic fate. The eighth and final episode will include either Weir’s participation in the 2010 Olympic WInter Games or his disappointment in missing the team and his decision whether to retire from the sport or not.
Both the documentary and the series capture the behind-the-scenes world of the outspoken figure skater. Love him or hate him, Weir is one of the most talented skaters of all time, but talent alone does not make a champion.
Executive producers for Sundance Channel are Barnett, Lynne Kirby and Ann Rose.
Weir was born and raised in Coatesville, Penn. and started skating very late for a figure skater, at the age of 12. Four years later, he was the World junior champion. Weir placed fifth at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino. He is a three-time U.S. champion (2004, '05 and '06) and the 2008 World bronze medalist.
Unlike most figure skaters, Weir is a clockwise spinner and jumper. He is known for his quick wit, his fashion sense, his “sparkly onesie” costumes, which he designs himself, and his tremendous natural talent and grace on the ice. Jon Heder's character in "Blades of Glory" was based on Weir.
Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression.