Family Channel and Playhouse Disney Canada announce slate of Canadian original productions



    BANFF, AB, June 8 /CNW/ - Astral Media's Family Channel and Playhouse
Disney Canada today announced the commissioning of six new and returning
Canadian original productions. New series for Family Channel include half-hour
comedies Angel on Campus (Temple Street Productions) and Baxter (Shaftesbury
Films), which join new seasons of returning series including the second season
of Connor Undercover (Heroic Film Company/Shaftesbury Films) and the third
season of Overruled! (Shaftesbury Films). Playhouse Disney Canada has
commissioned two new animated series for younger audiences, Stella and Sam
(Radical Sheep Productions) and Justin Time (Guru Studio), which join the
previously announced new seasons of popular series The Secret World of
Benjamin Bear (Amberwood Entertainment) and Franny's Feet (Decode
Entertainment). Production begins in Toronto for all series in late
summer/fall 2009, with broadcast premieres slated for 2010 and 2011.
    "We have an incredibly rich slate of projects that we are putting into
production this fall and look forward to working with some of Canada's leading
producers of live-action comedies and animation over the next year to build on
Family's already strong line-up of kids programming," Kevin Wright, Senior
Vice President, Programming, Astral Television Networks. "Canadian programs
always rate exceptionally well on Family Channel and we are confident that the
new series coming to our network in 2010 and 2011 will continue this trend of
highly successful Canadian kids programming."

    SERIES SYNOPSES - FAMILY CHANNEL

    ANGEL ON CAMPUS (13 episodes x 30 minutes)

    Angel on Campus is a live-action comedy series about a devil-may-care,
16-year-old Angel-In-Training (Demetrius Joyette, The Latest Buzz, Roxy
Hunter), who has been sent to earth to get his wings. His assignment: making
down-on-his-luck Carl Montclaire (Dylan Everett, How to be Indie) the most
popular kid at school. Angel on Campus is created by Frank van Keeken
(Billlable Hours, The Dating Guy, Seinfeld) and is produced by Temple Street
Productions.

    BAXTER (13 episodes x 30 minutes)

    Baxter is a live-action comedy series that follows Baxter McNab (Evan
Williams, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and his friends on their journey
through the unique world of Kingfield School of the Arts, where they discover
that the secret to surviving and thriving in high school is each other. Baxter
is produced by Shaftesbury Films, with showrunner Daphne Ballon (Life With
Derek), and distributed by Shaftesbury Sales Company.

    CONNOR UNDERCOVER SEASON 2 (26 episodes x 30 minutes)

    A unique blend of action and comedy, this series follows the world's
biggest spy buff, who sees his life kick into overdrive the day the first
daughter of a small nation shows up to live with his family. Bodyguards,
spies, moles, helicopters and chase scenes soon become part of his everyday
life. Stars Max Morrow (The Russell Girl, St. Urbain's Horsemen), newcomer
Lola Tash and Jordan Francis (Camp Rock). Connor Undercover is created by John
May and Suzanne Bolch of Heroic Film Company, executive produced by Christina
Jennings and Scott Garvie of Shaftesbury Films, John May and Suzanne Bolch,
produced by Suzanne French of Shaftesbury Films and distributed by Shaftesbury
Sales Company.

    OVERRULED! SEASON 3 (13 episodes x 30 minutes)

    Overruled! follows the trials of Jared "Coop" Cooper (Jacob Kraemer,
Naturally, Sadie), a 15-year-old whose cool and articulate traits lead him to
become a lawyer at his high school's teen court. He's joined by fellow lawyer
Kaleigh Stewart (Sally Taylor-Isherwood, Bon Voyage), judge Tara Bohun
(Jasmine Richards, Camp Rock, Naturally, Sadie) and court clerk Rusty (Nick
Spencer). Overruled! is created by Jeff Biederman, Jeff F. King and Jeffrey
Alan Schechter, executive produced by Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie for
Shaftesbury Films, Jeff Biederman (Life with Derek) and Jeffrey Alan Schechter
(The Famous Jett Jackson), produced by Suzanne French of Shaftesbury Films,
and distributed by Shaftesbury Sales Company.

    SERIES SYNOPSES - PLAYHOUSE DISNEY CANADA

    STELLA AND SAM (13 episodes, each comprising two 11-minute segments)

    Based on the best-selling book series by Marie-Louise Gay, Stella and Sam
focuses on the relationship between inquisitive but shy five-year old Sam and
his outgoing big sister Stella. The stories are filled with fun and adventure,
but the heart of the series is about self-discovery, which is often revealed
through their exploration of the natural world. Stella and Sam is produced by
Radical Sheep Productions.

    JUSTIN TIME (13 episodes, each comprising two 11-minute segments)

    Justin Time is an animated series that follows the adventures of Justin,
his imaginary sidekick Zepi, and his friend Olive, who find out that discovery
and learning have a place in every time period, and that true friendship is
timeless. Justin Time is produced by Guru Studio.

    Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in
family television entertainment in 5.8 million homes across Canada. Dedicated
to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs
a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of
programming supplied by Disney. Family Channel also offers Family OnDemand in
select areas, a Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service that features hit
Disney movies and series, top-rated Canadian series and Playhouse Disney
programming. Visit us at Family.ca.

    Playhouse Disney is a commercial-free, multiplex channel offered to
Family Channel subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering engaging,
educational and development-based programming for younger children, the
channel offers exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with
celebrated Canadian series to create an environment for fun and learning.
Visit us at www.playhousedisney.ca. Playhouse Disney is an Astral Media
network.

    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 further information:

For further information: Scott Campbell, (416) 956-8648,
scampbell@tv.astral.com

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