HBO's Award-Winning Drama The Wire Returns to Movie Central and The Movie Network For a Fifth and Final Season


    Final Season Premieres Day-and-Date with HBO on Sunday, January 6 at
    8 p.m. PT on Movie Central and 9 p.m. ET on The Movie Network

    TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - From the projects and schools to the docks and
City Hall, the places and faces change, but the crime game remains the same,
even in the media. Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (western Canada) and
Astral Media's The Movie Network (eastern Canada) present the fifth and final
season of HBO's critically-acclaimed drama series The Wire on Sunday,
January 6, 2008, at 8 p.m. PT on Movie Central and 9 p.m. ET on The Movie
Network.

    A series told from the perspective of both the police and their targets,
season five of The Wire will focus on a plotline played out by fictional
characters and based on the real Baltimore Sun. The new storyline chronicles
the efforts of harried City Editor, Augustus "Gus" Haynes (Clark Johnson), as
he tries to break front-page news stories in the face of major corporate
downsizing at the paper. The Sun's cuts mirror those facing Mayor Carcetti
(Aidan Gillan) and the police department, which must make hard choices
involving overtime, equipment and key personnel assigned to the detail of
monitoring drug lord Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector) and his ruthless crew.
Season five centres on the ever-increasing distance between perception and
reality in the media, and how press coverage affects which cases get solved
and which do not.

    Also in season five: Detective James McNulty (Dominic West) and his
colleagues continue to stake out Marlo's crew while recently promoted
Sergeant Carver (Seth Gilliam) struggles with discontented officers;
Mayor Carcetti (Aidan Gillen) struggles to keep his campaign promise to
support schools while facing budget cutbacks; The Baltimore Sun breaks a front
page story which links a local politician to a dangerous drug lord; and the
brass struggle to stay on top of the new rising crime ring, while Marlo and
his crew meet to discuss divvying up drug frontiers across East Baltimore's
county line.

    The last 10 episodes of The Wire are based in large part on the
experiences of series creator and writer David Simon, whose years as a police
reporter with The Baltimore Sun provided an expansive background for the
depiction of characters, protocol and anecdotes found in the final season. A
former journalist, Simon has written two books about urban crime, Homicide: A
Year on the Killing Streets, inspiration for the hit series Homicide: Life on
the Street, and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood,
which inspired his first production with HBO, the Emmy(R)-winning miniseries
The Corner.

    Series regulars reprising their roles this season also include: Sonja
Sohn, Lance Reddick, Wendell Pierce, Robert Wisdom, Deirdre Lovejoy,
Clarke Peters, Coey Parker Robinson, Reg E. Cathey, Marlyne Afflack,
Michael Kenneth Williams, Andre Royo, Tristan Wilds, Gbenga Akinnagbe,
Jermaine Crawford, Robert F. Chew, Method Man, John Doman and Frankie Faison.
New cast regulars include: David Costabile, Sam Freed, Thomas McCarthy,
Michelle Paress, Bruce Kirkpatrick, Todd Scofield, Kara Quick and Donald Neal.

    The Wire was created by David Simon, is executive produced by Simon and
Nina Kostroff Noble, co-executive produced by Joe Chappelle and produced by
Edward Burns and Karen Thorson.

    The Wire is a pay-TV series available in Canada exclusively on
Movie Central and The Movie Network, with new episodes of the series available
on Movie Central On Demand the week following its network premiere and
The Movie Network OnDemand the Tuesday following its network premiere.

    Movie Central is a 24-hour-a-day, commercial-free premium pay TV service
available to Western Canadians. Exclusive multi-year output agreements with
major Hollywood studios ensure that Movie Central is the preferred destination
for box office titles. In addition to being the first window, Canadian home to
the best of HBO and Showtime, through its investments, pre-buys and licence
fees for Canadian feature films and original series, Movie Central is
recognized as a major force in the Canadian independent film and television
production industry. The launch of Movie Central On Demand and Movie Central
High Definition demonstrates that Movie Central remains committed to being
first with innovations that enhance the viewing experience. Visit the
Movie Central website at www.moviecentral.ca.

    Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based
media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty
television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and
digital audio services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing
and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands
include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and
radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded
entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A
publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York
(CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

    The Movie Network is an Astral Media network available in eastern Canada.
With premiere access to Hollywood hit movies, critically-acclaimed HBO and
Showtime series, and first-rate Canadian programming, this pay-television
service presents Canadians with some of the best television entertainment
available. The Movie Network service includes five 24-hour multiplex channels
- M, MMore, MExcess, MFun! and MFest - which deliver diverse and entertaining
programs in an uncut and commercial-free television environment. The Movie
Network also offers The Movie Network HD and MMore HD, two dedicated
high-definition channels providing hundreds of titles in HD; and The Movie
Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in
select areas across eastern Canada. For more information, please visit
www.themovienetwork.ca.

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty,
pay and pay-per-view television, radio, outdoor advertising and the Internet.
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 access to Movie Central's press site or The Movie Network's media
room, please visit http://pressroom.corusent.com or http://tv.astral.com.




For further information: Media contact: Movie Central (western Canada),
Alex Chapple, (416) 530-2249, alex.chapple@corusent.com; The Movie Network
(eastern Canada), Nicolle Balen, (416) 956-8638, nbalen@tv.astral.com