Fresh TV takes centre stage with a new performing arts school drama, Backstage, for Family

TORONTO, July 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Fresh TV today announces start of production on a new Family Channel original performing arts school drama, Backstage. The 30-episode, half-hour scripted series (shot docudrama-style) will follow a group of outstandingly talented teenagers as they live through the highs and lows that come with attending the prestigious Keaton School of the Arts – from the angst and disappointments to the new friendships and crowning achievements. The series films this summer in Toronto, beginning today, and is slated to debut on DHX Television's Family in Spring 2016.

Through diary-style confessionals and dramatic cliffhangers, Backstage will lift the curtain on these would-be stars as they chase their dreams and deal with the day-to-day reality of being a student, a sister, a son, a girlfriend — a teen. Every episode will be jam-packed with dance, instrumental and vocal performances from rehearsals to concerts to opening nights.

"Backstage will transport tweens into the competitive world of the performing arts as talented young teens struggle to out-dance, out-sing, and out-perform their classmates on the quest to make it big," said Brian Irving, Producer, Executive Producer and partner at Fresh TV. "The series will take away the gloss of showbiz and showcase the grit and determination talented young artists need to succeed."

Directors for the series include top music video directors such as RT! (Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, Shane Harte), Director X (Iggy Azalea, T.I., Drake), Wendy Morgan (Dragonette, Janelle Monáe), and Warren Sonoda (Johnny Reid, George Canyon).

"We know that our audience gravitates towards series based on music and dance, and the compelling storylines in Backstage depict the competitive environment that exists with teens who are striving for excellence," said Michael Goldsmith, Vice President, Original Production, DHX Television. "Pairing the aspirational nature of the show with characters that our viewers can connect with and, more importantly, relate to makes this series an excellent addition to our lineup."

Featuring an all-Canadian cast, the series stars Devyn Nekoda (Degrassi) as Vanessa, a gifted ballet dancer; Alyssa Trask as Carly, a dancer who is stuck in her best friend Vanessa's shadow; Aviva Mongillo as Alya, an incredible singer who lacks confidence; Josh Bogert as Miles, a mysterious musician with a big secret; Colin Petierre as Sasha, the school's biggest gossip; Julia Tomasone as Bianca, who is being groomed by her casting director mother as "the next big thing"; Matthew Isen as Jax, a charming DJ and musician; Kyal Legend as Julie, the school president; McKenzie Small as Scarlett, a talented singer with a big ego; Romy Weltman as Kit, a DJ and musician who is fighting to garner recognition for her talents; Isiah Hall as Denzel, a fashionable designer; and Adrianna Di Liello as Jenna an eager ballet dancer, always ready to seize an opportunity.

Backstage was created and developed by Fresh TV in association with DHX Television. Executive Producers are Brian Irving, who is also a producer; Jennifer Pertsch, who is also the creator, co-developer and a writer; Lara Azzopardi, who is also a co-developer, show runner, writer and director; Tom McGillis and George Elliott.

ABOUT FRESH TV INC.
Fresh TV is a world leader in creating and producing family entertainment. This award-winning multi-media company set new audience delivery records when the Total Drama Island finale was the #1 telecast in Cartoon Network's history and the series itself served as the anchor to Cartoon Network's prime time comedy franchise HAR HAR THARSDAYS. Fresh TV's live-action series My Babysitter's a Vampire, based on the successful movie of the week, ranked as the No. 1 U.S. cable show amongst Kids 2-11 in its time period during its premiere season run on Disney Channel and met with record high ratings in season two.

Founded by Emmy-winning producers Tom McGillis, Jennifer Pertsch, George Elliott and Brian Irving, Fresh TV finances, develops and produces animated and live-action television that powerfully connects to the interests, influences and enthusiasm of tween and teen audiences around the world.

Fresh TV eats, sleeps and breathes to create television young people will love to watch right now. Fresh productions include the Total Drama franchise, 6TEEN, Stoked, Grojband and the live-action series, My Babysitter's A Vampire, Really Me and the Disney XD movie Bunks.

Fresh TV offers the services of world-renowned animation studio Elliott Animation which provides a full range of 2D, 3D-CGI and 2D Flash animation production services for major North American clients from its studios in Toronto and Hamilton, Canada. For more information, visit www.freshtvinc.com.

Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, commercial-free environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for children and their families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated series, movies and specials. Family Channel subscribers also have access to Family OnDemand and Family OnLine at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them. Visit us at Family.ca.

About DHX Television
DHX Television is comprised of the Family suite of channels and is part of DHX Media Ltd., a leading creator, producer, marketer and broadcaster of family entertainment. DHX Media Ltd. markets and distributes its library of more than 11,000 half-hours of entertainment programming worldwide, and licenses its owned properties through its dedicated brand-management and consumer-products business, DHX Brands. DHX Media Ltd.'s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands. With offices in 15 cities worldwide, including Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Amsterdam and Beijing, DHX Media Ltd. is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

SOURCE DHX Television

For further information: Media Contacts: Katherine Holmes, Holmes PR, 416-628-5604, kholmes@holmespr.com; Andrea McLoughlin, Holmes PR, 416-628-5609, amcloughlin@holmespr.com; Joanna Landsberg, DHX Television, 416-977-7416, joanna.landsberg@dhxmedia.com


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