Movie Central and The Movie Network Announce 2012-2013 Original Production Slate

BANFF, Alberta, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) are pleased to unveil the original series, miniseries, specials and documentaries that have been greenlit for production in 2012/2013. The line-up includes: returning comedy favourites Call Me Fitz, Less Than Kind and Funny as Hell; prominent international co-productions The Heretics and Rogue; and documentaries and special presentations Altman, In Studio, the David Steinberg Documentary, The Reelside, Revolution: Sharkwater 2, Vincent Goes to Hell: An Alice Cooper Doc Opera and Water.

"With Call Me Fitz, Less Than Kind and Funny as Hell returning, we take great pride in the calibre of these comedic gems that continue to engage and entertain our audience," said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama, Corus Entertainment. "Showcasing these critically acclaimed series alongside a lineup of exceptional productions with our international partners, Movie Central is providing our viewers access to an unmatched lineup of comedic, dramatic and action-packed series that reflect the best of Canada and abroad."

"The Movie Network is committed to offering audiences unparalleled premium made-in-Canada programming," said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. "Our latest round of original productions further fulfills our goal of balancing auteur-driven comedies and documentaries from Canada's most original voices with compelling international co-productions sure to have viewers on the edge of their seats."

New and returning series and miniseries greenlit for 2012/2013 include:

Call Me Fitz (Season 4)
Call Me Fitz returns for a fourth season. Comedy's favourite dysfunctional family blows up the themes of identity as the Fitz family find themselves living back at home with mom. Call Me Fitz is produced by Entertainment One, Amaze Film + Television, Big Motion Pictures. The fourth season will begin filming in New Minas, Nova Scotia in Fall 2012, when the third season is scheduled to premiere.

Funny As Hell (Season 3)
Produced by Just for Laughs Television, Funny As Hell is back for a hell of a third season. The half-hour comedy series mixes daring stand-up featuring some of the funniest rising stars in comedy, with musical comedy and digital shorts. Hosted by Jon Dore, Season 3 will be filmed during the 2012 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

The Heretics
Set in 13th Century France, The Heretics portrays the story of the Cathars and the powerful force that was so threatened by their peaceful and egalitarian society, it had to wipe them off the face of the earth. The Heretics is a Canada/France co-production between The Movie Network, Movie Central, Shaw Media and Sienna Films in Canada and Breakout Films, Arte and France 2 in France. The 10-episode, miniseries is currently in production in Romania and the South of France.

Less Than Kind (Season 4)
Gemini® trifecta winner for Best Comedy, Best Acting, and Best Writing, Less Than Kind's fourth and final season returns to Winnipeg during the short summer months. The series stars Wendel Meldrum, Jesse Camacho, Benjamin Arthur, Nancy Sorel, Brooke Palsson, Tyler Johnston and joining the cast, veteran Canadian actor, Nicholas Campbell. Less Than Kind is produced by Breakthrough Film & Televistion and Buffalo Gal Pictures, principal photography runs from May 28-July 10 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rogue
A 10-episode drama, Rogue follows a morally and emotionally conflicted cop, Grace, who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son's death. Rogue, stars award-winning actress Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible 2, Crash) and is produced by Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Greenroom Entertainment. The series will air on DirecTV in the U.S. and production is slated to begin in August 2012 in Vancouver.

Original films and documentaries on Movie Central and The Movie Network's 2012/2013 production slate include:

  • Altman (Sphinx Productions) is a feature-length theatrical documentary based on the life and art of iconic director Robert Altman. From M*A*S*H to A Prairie Home Companion, Altman's naturalistic and prophetic movies reinterpreted every conceivable genre to chronicle a post-war America in transition. Altman is produced and directed by Ron Mann.
  • The David Steinberg Documentary (working title) (The Nightingale Company) is an intimate portrait of the Canadian icon, comedian and director of legendary television series like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Mad About You and Newhart. The documentary follows Steinberg as he works on a new hour of stand-up comedy, his first in years. The interviews, a who's who of comedy, include Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Charles, Don Rickles and more.
  • In Studio (Barry Avrich) is a one-hour special that celebrates Canadian filmmaking. Taped at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox the night before the 32nd Annual Genie Awards Gala, acclaimed actor, writer and filmmaker Don McKellar interviews four of the five nominees in the Achievement in Direction category: David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Jean-Marc Vallée (Café De Flore), Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) and Larysa Kondracki (The Whistleblower). Also featuring a special interview with Viggo Mortensen, star of A Dangerous Method. In Studio premieres Sunday, July 1 at 8 p.m. ET on The Movie Network and on Wednesday, July 27 at 8 p.m. PT on Movie Central before the network premiere of A Dangerous Method.
  • The Reelside (Chris Szarka and Raj Panikkar) is a six-part half-hour documentary series that features some of Canada's most prominent directors interviewing their actor counterparts.
  • Revolution: Sharkwater 2 (Rob Stewart), follows Rob Stewart (director of Sharkwater) on a 15-country, life-threatening adventure to save the world. Realizing his efforts to save sharks have been in vain, Stewart faces his greatest battle yet: trying to start a revolution to save ecosystems and humanity.
  • Vincent Goes to Hell: An Alice Cooper Doc Opera (Banger Films) is the saga of Vincent Furnier's struggle to contain his mad creation and celebrity persona, Alice Cooper. The biopic documentary follows Cooper's evolution from insanity to peace.
  • From Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, the award-winning filmmaking team behind Manufactured Landscapes, Water (Sixth Wave Productions), will let viewers experience water in ways that they are not accustomed to: politically, culturally, ecologically.

Movie Central is a commercial-free premium pay TV service available in western Canada. Movie Central premieres the best in Hollywood, international and Canadian films across nine 24-hour movie channels, including dedicated high-definition feeds, a Movie Central On Demand service and exclusive HBO content on HBO Canada. Movie Central is also the first window for Showtime content and home to cutting-edge Canadian series. A major force in the Canadian independent film and television production industry, Movie Central, through The Corus Made with Pay Fund, supports many critically-acclaimed and award-winning Canadian series and films. 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, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

The Movie Network is a pay television service available in eastern Canada. With premiere access to Hollywood hit movies, new and exclusive HBO content, critically-acclaimed 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, HBO Canada, 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, HBO Canada HD, MExcess HD and MFun! HD, four dedicated high-definition channels providing hundreds of titles in HD; The Movie Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in select areas across eastern Canada; and, TMN OnLine an Internet-based content streaming service available to BellTV subscribers. For more information, please visit www.themovienetwork.ca.

The Movie Network is a member of the Astral family. Astral is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates over 100 of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

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

SOURCE Movie Central

For further information:

The Movie Network (eastern Canada)
Nicolle Balen
(416) 956-8638
nbalen@astral.com

Movie Central (western Canada)
Owen McCorquodale
(416) 479-6068
owen.mccorquodale@corusent.com

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