The award-winning Canadian comedy series Less than Kind returns to television on HBO Canada

- Season 2 premieres as part of an all-new comedy line-up on Friday, February 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET / MT on HBO Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - Following the darkly comedic growing pains of an overweight Winnipeg teenager and his dysfunctional family, the critically acclaimed, half-hour Canadian comedy series Less Than Kind makes its sophomore season debut on HBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Astral Media's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada), on Friday, February 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET/MT.

Less Than Kind follows Sheldon Blecher (Jesse Camacho), a smart, overweight teenager growing up in Winnipeg's North End, and his relationship with his off-kilter family. The continuing source of Sheldon's problems is Sam (Maury Chaykin), his self-destructive driving instructor father; Anne (Wendel Meldrum), his pyromaniac mother; Josh (Benjamin Arthur), his handsome egotistical brother; and Aunt Clara (Nancy Sorel), the somewhat rational family member who tries to hold it all together. With Winnipeg winter as a backdrop, the volatile Blechers struggle to stay together and revive their failing family business, Blecher's Driving School.

As the 13-episode second season begins, the abrasive Sam is at Death's door, but even Death doesn't answer when Sam comes knocking. As a result, Anne's anxiety reaches a breaking point as she tries to be matriarch, nurse, entrepreneur and housewife. While the turmoil at home escalates, Josh is torn between his duties to his family, himself and his girlfriend (but mostly himself). Meanwhile, Sheldon deals with some romantic developments of his own as his best friend - braceface Miriam Goldstein - is becoming more than just a friend.

"Less Than Kind is a series like no other on Canadian television. The deftness of the comedy coupled with compelling, complex characters and storylines that are hilarious and edgy, bittersweet and sophisticated, make us confident Less Than Kind will thrive with pay TV audiences," said Diane Boehme, Director of Canadian Independent Production, The Movie Network.

"This dysfunctional but heart-warming family offers a unique and humorous view of Western Canada, which we believe will hit home with our Movie Central viewers," said Erica Benson, Vice President Programming, Movie Central. "With a talented cast and some of the biggest names in Canadian entertainment on the creative team and in guest roles, we're excited about the direction that this show is taking in its second season."

Season two guest stars include: Dave Foley, George Wendt, Shaun Majumder, Jennifer Irwin, Patrick McKenna, Paul Soles, Susan Coyne, and Henry Czerny. Directors for the second season include Bruce McDonald, Kelly Makin and James Dunnison.

Less Than Kind is produced by Breakthrough Films & Television and Buffalo Gal Pictures and is helmed by executive producer, writer and showrunner Mark McKinney. The series is also written and Executive Produced by former Winnipeger Marvin Kaye and Vancouver born Chris Sheasgreen, who created the series based on Kaye's semi-autobiographical one-act play, They Have Mayonnaise in Montreal. Executive producers also include Peter Williamson and Ira Levy for Breakthrough Films & Television and Phyllis Laing for Buffalo Gal Pictures. Paula J. Smith is producer and Rob Sheridan is consulting producer. In addition to McKinney, the series is written by Garry Campbell, Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen, Jenn Engels and Jennifer Beasley.

The entire first season of Less Than Kind will be available on The Movie Network OnDemand and Movie Central On Demand beginning Monday, January 25, and the first episode of season 2 will be available for a sneak preview on demand beginning Tuesday, February 2. All new episodes will be simulcast on HBO Canada HD, and will be available on demand and on The Movie Network OnLine following their network premieres.

The season 2 premiere of Less Than Kind will kick off an all-new Friday night comedy line-up on HBO Canada beginning February 19. Following the series' debut at 8:30 p.m. is the premiere of The Ricky Gervais Show, a new animated series based on the comedian's wildly popular podcasts at 9 p.m. ET/MT. At 9:30 p.m. ET/MT season 2 of The Life and Times of Tim will debut, followed at 10 p.m. ET/MT by the premiere of a new season of Real Time With Bill Maher. Rounding out the Friday night schedule at midnight is the new late-night, half-hour sketch-comedy series Funny or Die Presents from comedic masterminds Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy.

HBO Canada is a multiplex channel offered by Astral Media's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada). HBO Canada brings Canadians the current slate of signature dramatic programs for which HBO is known, together with new and never-before-seen programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events, behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO's extensive library - all in an uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is offered in high definition on HBO Canada HD and programming is accessible on demand where available by service provider. For more information, please visit www.hbocanada.com.

The Movie Network is an Astral Media Television Network. Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and interactive media. Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted media for all its audiences. For more information about Astral Media, please visit www.astralmedia.com.

Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B/CJR), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation.

For access to The Movie Network's media room or Movie Central's press site, please visit http://tv.astral.com or http://mediacentre.corusent.com.

For further information: Media contacts: The Movie Network, (Eastern Canada), Nicolle Balen, (416) 956-8638, nbalen@tv.astral.com; Movie Central (Western Canada), Owen McCorquodale, (416) 530-2249, Owen.McCorquodale@corusent.com