HBO CANADA RINGS IN THE NEW YEAR WITH COMEDY AND COMPLEX FAMILY DRAMA

  • HBO's polygamy drama Big Love returns for a fifth and final season on January 16
  • Friday night comedy block premieres new seasons of The Ricky Gervais Show, Real Time With Bill Maher and Funny or Die Presents beginning January 14
  • Premiere of HBO documentary Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star and more HBO World Championship Boxing

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - HBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada) is kicking off the New Year with a fresh slate of HBO original programming that includes: the final episodes of the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated drama Big Love; the return of laugh-out-loud favourites The Ricky Gervais Show, Real Time With Bill Maher and Funny or Die Presents; a new documentary; and live boxing. All programming broadcast day-and-date with HBO in the U.S.

Big Love (Season 5)
Premieres Sunday, January 16 at 9 p.m. ET/MT
HBO's polygamy drama that follows the tumultuous lives of the Henrickson family returns for a fifth and final season. Big Love tells the story of Salt Lake City, Utah businessman Bill Henrickson, who balances the needs of his three wives - Barb, Nicki and Margene - their nine kids and three houses, and his own entrepreneurial ambitions. The series stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin, and is executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, David Knoller, Bernadette Caulfield and series creators and show runners Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer.

The Ricky Gervais Show (Season 2)
Premieres Friday, January 14 at 9 p.m. ET/MT
Returning for a second season, The Ricky Gervais Show is the animated adaptation of Ricky Gervais' hit podcasts that feature the comic stream-of-consciousness exchanges between Gervais, his collaborator Stephen Merchant and their offbeat friend Karl Pilkington. With the podcasts earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads, regular features include a "Monkey News" segment and excerpts from Karl's journal, read by Stephen.

Real Time with Bill Maher (Season 9)
Premieres Friday, January 14 at 10 p.m. ET/MT
HBO's irrepressible, politically incorrect muse, Bill Maher returns with new episodes of his HBO original series that offers viewers a unique perspective on contemporary issues. Each live edition of the series includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with in-studio and satellite guests.

Funny or Die Presents (Season 2)
Premieres Friday, January 14 at midnight ET/MT
Executive produced by three of the celebrated masterminds behind the groundbreaking Funny or Die website - Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy - this half-hour, late-night sketch comedy series provides a creative forum for dozens of America's most talented comedians, actors and writers. The series fuses off-the-wall scripted pieces with animated vignettes, music videos and faux commercials, with each episode introduced and wrapped by a decidedly unhip, white-haired spokesman named Ed Haligan. 

ADDITIONAL HBO PREMIERES IN January

Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star (HBO Documentary)
Premieres Wednesday, January 26 at 8 p.m. ET/MT
This 30-minute follow-up to the HBO documentary Afghan Star, checks in with Setara, a young Afghan wife, mother and former contestant on the American Idol-style series, Afghan Star. Filmmakers return to Afghanistan several months later to follow-up on Setara, examining the impact that her controversial turn on the show has had on her life and her country. The documentary offers a compelling window into the country's relationship to its culture and its tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity.

HBO World Championship Boxing (Live Sports)
Live event on Saturday, January 29 at 10 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. MT/ 7 p.m. PT
Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley face off in the main event. Additional fight details to be announced.      

HBO Canada is a multiplex channel offered by Astral'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 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.

Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B), 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.  

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.   

SOURCE The Movie Network

For further information: For further information:

Media contacts:
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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