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12/17/2008 12:56 PM ET
MLB Network to debut with original broadcast of Don Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game on Jan. 1
January schedule to feature new original programming and live studio shows; specials to appear on Hall of Fame election and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
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SECAUCUS -- MLB Network today announced its programming lineup for the month of January, beginning with its debut on Jan. 1 in 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history. MLB Network will go on the air at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 with a live, one hour Hot Stove studio show, immediately followed by Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, airing for the first time since its original broadcast and featuring new commentary by Larsen and Yogi Berra. MLB Network will also debut original shows and air specials throughout January, including special coverage of the Baseball Hall of Fame election and programming devoted to the Negro Leagues on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

For the first time on television since its original broadcast more than 52 years ago, MLB Network will air Don Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game on Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The program will feature new commentary by both Larsen and Yogi Berra, as well as the original call by legendary baseball broadcasters Mel Allen and Vin Scully. Using the original film negatives, MLB Productions has retransferred this footage with grass valley/Technicolor technology to restore the quality of the classic game.

Special programming in January includes (All times Eastern):
Hall of Fame Election (Monday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m.)
The Hall of Fame Election Special will provide live coverage announcing the players who have been voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the class of 2009 and a prime time special at 9 p.m. celebrating the careers of those elected.
Pride and Perseverance: The Story Of The Negro Leagues (Monday, Jan. 19, 9 p.m.)
On Jan. 19, MLB Network will pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and air Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues at 9 p.m. ET. This one-hour documentary, never before aired, is narrated by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

On Jan. 1, MLB Network will launch at 6 p.m. ET with one of its premiere programs, Hot Stove, a one-hour offseason studio show. Hot Stove will air regularly throughout the offseason at 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Hot Stove will focus extensively on news, reports and analysis of the moves clubs are making and planning, as well as off-season trades, free agent signings and player movement rumors for the upcoming season.

Other new MLB Network prime time programming includes (all times Eastern):
Prime 9 (Mondays, 8 and 8:30 p.m.): This half-hour program breaks down the top nine all-time in a variety of areas in baseball history, such as players at different positions, great comebacks and unbreakable records. The show will premiere on Jan. 5 with All-Time Center fielders at 8 p.m., followed by All-Time Home Runs at 8:30 p.m.

Cathedrals of the Game (Mondays, 9 and 9:30 p.m.): This half-hour show provides behind the scenes footage of the ballparks and spotlights historical moments in some of the cities throughout the nation. The show will premiere on Jan. 5 with Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 9 p.m., followed by Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia at 9:30 p.m.

Baseball Seasons (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.): This series of one hour episodes showcases unforgettable years in baseball history within the context of the culture and society of the time. The show will premiere on Jan. 7 with a focus on 1995.

AL and NL Awards Shows (Wednesdays, 9 p.m.): These new shows will feature spotlights on the 2008 American League and National League MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year award winners, as chosen by the Baseball Writers Association of America. There will also be shows highlighting the "Plays of the Year for both leagues.

In addition to these new shows, other weekly prime time programming will include Home Run Derby highlights on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET and World Series highlights on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET. Weekend programming during the offseason will feature theme days, beginning in January with recent World Series games. The full prime time schedule is summarized below, and complete program listings are available at www.MLBNetwork.com.

Projected to launch in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on Jan. 1, 2009, MLB Network will be the largest debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network will be the ultimate television destination for baseball fans.

MLB Network - January time schedule (all times eastern, subject to change)
TimeMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
7 p.m.Hot Stove (live) Hot Stove (live)Hot Stove (live)Hot Stove (live)Hot Stove (live)
8 p.m.Prime 9MLB Network SpecialBaseball's SeasonsHome Run Derby highlightsWorld Series highlights
Followed by:Cathedrals of the Game
(or special programming)
MLB Network Special2008 AL/NL Awards SpecialHome Run Derby highlights World Series highlights
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