More Gas in the Tank: The Comedy Network Greenlights All-New Animated Reboot of Iconic Canadian Comedy CORNER GAS

– New adventures, new episodes: pre-production begins January 2017 in Vancouver and Toronto
– Animated world allows Brent Butt's comedy to be as limitless as his imagination –
– New series brings new opportunities for brand integration –
– To tweet this release: bmpr.ca/2hDSoBB
– To view a special tease of the new animated version of CORNER GAS, click here –

TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Life in Dog River is about to get a lot more animated! Following a trailblazing six-season run and a blockbuster 2014 movie, The Comedy Network announced today it has greenlit an all-new animated version of the acclaimed, smash-hit comedy franchise CORNER GAS from 335 Productions and Vérité Films. The 13-episode, half-hour series for The Comedy Network's 2017-2018 broadcast season is the latest original 4K production from Bell Media. Re-imagined by CORNER GAS creator and star Brent Butt, who released a sneak peek of his animated-character yesterday, the all-new animated CORNER GAS delivers its revered brand of comedy, but this time in an animated Dog River where anything is possible.

The new series comes from CORNER GAS executive producers Brent Butt and David Storey from Prairie Pantoons (335 Productions), and Virginia Thompson from Moving Mountoons (Vérité Films), in association with The Comedy Network. Animation will be produced by Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons and Smiley Guy Studios. The series begins pre-production in January 2017 in Vancouver and Toronto, with the main cast confirmed to return. Producers also confirmed today that beloved character Emma will live on in the animated world with the blessing of the late Janet Wright's family.

"We are thrilled the original cast is back and that the Emma character will live on in the animated series," said Executive Producer Virginia Thompson. "Emma will remain funny and fearless in the new series and will pay tribute to Janet Wright for many years to come."

"We're ecstatic to be heading back to Dog River with a new animated version of CORNER GAS for The Comedy Network," said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty, Bell Media. "The CORNER GAS franchise is iconic and much loved by the entire country. We're excited to again work with this great production team to deliver more CORNER GAS to the dedicated fans who made the franchise so incredibly successful, and also introduce this wonderful world to a new audience."

Brent (Brent Butt), Lacey (Gabrielle Miller), Oscar (Eric Peterson), Hank (Fred Ewanuick), Davis (Lorne Cardinal), Karen (Tara Spencer-Nairn), and Wanda (Nancy Robertson) are all getting a cartoon makeover as the main cast returns to Dog River for CORNER GAS. Casting for the voice of Emma is currently underway.

CORNER GAS brings together Butt's comedy style and love for comic books. Before pursuing his passion as a stand-up comedian, Butt and a friend started a publishing company – Windwolf Graphics. His first comic, Existing Earth, was nominated for a Golden Eagle Award. Windwolf Graphics published two issues before Butt hit the stand-up circuit full time. Butt's passion for comics lived on through his work, a common theme in the CORNER GAS franchise. Bringing CORNER GAS in to the animated world allows Butt's comedy to be as limitless as his imagination.

"I've always loved animation," said Creator, Executive Producer and star Brent Butt. "After high school, I was accepted into the animation program at Sheridan College, but I chose to pursue stand-up comedy. It's been a huge amount of fun creating animated scripts for our CORNER GAS gang. We used to come up with some pretty wild fantasy sequences and bizarre flashbacks in the old story room, but were limited with what we could do in the real world. Buckle up! We're not in the real world anymore!"

The new animated CORNER GAS also presents a vast new world of opportunity for branded integration. With Dog River open to expansion through animation, and beyond, brands are able to explore the environment in new ways.

All 107 episodes of the six-season original series, as well as the 90-minute movie, are available now on CraveTV.

**MEDIA NOTE** Download photography of CORNER GAS at BellMediaPR.ca.

About the CORNER GAS Franchise:
The smash hit Canadian television franchise CORNER GAS is an entertaining depiction of small-town prairie life.

CORNER GAS the original television series was created by Brent Butt, executive produced by Brent Butt, David Storey, and Virginia Thompson and developed by Brent Butt, David Storey, Mark Farrell, and Virginia Thompson for CTV and The Comedy Network. It premiered January 22, 2004 on CTV with 1.15 million viewers and was a runaway hit. Dog River soon became a favourite Canadian television destination. During its entire six-season run, CORNER GAS was the #1 Canadian sitcom in Canada, maintaining an impressive average audience of 1.4 million viewers over its 107-episode run. The series finale made television history when a record-breaking 3.02 million viewers tuned into the series finale on April 13, 2009. It was a new audience high for CORNER GAS and is still the largest audience on record for a Canadian scripted television series.  

Winner of the 2016 Golden Screen Award for the most-watched Canadian Drama / Comedy Program, Corner Gas: The Movie renewed its love affair with fans in December 2014. Just as it did when it began 10 years ago, the smash hit Canadian television franchise CORNER GAS continued to blaze new trails.

Created by Brent Butt and executive produced by Brent Butt, David Storey and Virginia Thompson, Corner Gas: The Movie sold out 100 theatres across Canada, and reached over 7 million TV viewers. It achieved tens of millions of social media impressions, and sold over 60,000 DVD and Blu-ray units.

CORNER GAS is an inter-provincial co-production produced by Prairie Pantoons (BC), comprised of Brent Butt and David Storey from 335 Productions; and Moving Mountoons (ON), comprised of Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint from Vérité Films, in association with Bell Media, Canada Media Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit, Film Incentive BC Tax Credit, Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Independent Production, Comedy, Bell Media. Executive for Bell Media is Chris Kelley. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media.

CORNER GAS is distributed worldwide by executive producers Virginia Thompson, Brent Butt and David Storey through Prairie Pants Distribution which also holds the distribution rights to Corner Gas: The Movie and the sales agency rights to the original 107-episode comedy series.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Twitter:
The Comedy Network on Twitter
@CornerGas
@BrentButtBrent Butt
@MillerGabrielleGabrielle Miller
@FredEwanuick – Fred Ewanuick
@LorneCardinalLorne Cardinal
@TSpencerNairnTara Spencer Nairn
@NancyRtweetsNancy Robertson
@VirginiaTVVirginia Thompson

Facebook:
Facebook.com/CornerGasOfficial
The Comedy Network on Facebook

Instagram:
@CornerGasOfficial

About Prairie Pants Distribution
Prairie Pants Distribution Inc. is the worldwide distributor of the new animated CORNER GAS, Corner Gas: The Movie and the original 107-episode CORNER GAS comedy series. The company is owned and operated by CORNER GAS Executive Producers Virginia Thompson (Vérité Films: CORNER GAS, THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS GALA, INSECURITY, RENEGADEPRESS.COM, INCREDIBLE STORY STUDIO), Brent Butt (Sparrow Media: CORNER GAS, HICCUPS, NO CLUE), David Storey (Aslan Entertainment: CORNER GAS, HICCUPS, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP KID: THE DON CHERRY STORY, BLACKFLY). 

About Bell Media Independent Production
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada's most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, and MASTERCHEF CANADA. Upcoming original series on CTV include CARDINAL and THE DISAPPEARANCE. Among the original series on Bell Media pay, specialty, and streaming platforms are the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, Space's most-watched original series KILLJOYS, Bravo's award-winning and most-watched original drama 19-2, award-winning dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, CraveTV comedies LETTERKENNY and RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, Discovery's first-ever drama FRONTIER, Comedy's new satirical news series THE BEAVERTON, and nine new series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN and FISH THE DISH. Discovery is also home to Bell Media's hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA'S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.

About The Comedy Network
Canada's first specialty comedy service, The Comedy Network airs comedy of all kinds, 24-hours-a-day, across multiple platforms, including a revolutionary broadband service at thecomedynetwork.ca. Launched in October 1997, Comedy broadcasts, uncut and uncensored, an eclectic mix of scripted, stand-up, sketch, improv, and animated comedy – as well as topical comedy talk shows, game shows and classic situation comedies. Offering an unrivalled slate of original Canadian programming, Comedy reinvests nearly 50 per cent of its revenues into home-grown productions. Comedy is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company, and is available in nearly six million households across the country.

Broadcast Source: Numeris
CTV electronic audience databases incorporate data beginning in 1994.
Audience prior to August 31, 2009 based on BBM Nielsen Media Research Mark II meters.
Cumulative average audience and overall reach calculated from Dec 8, 2014 to Jan 1, 2015, across CTV Total, CTV Two Total, Comedy, TMN1, TMN3, TMN4, and TMN5.

DVD/Blu-Ray Source: The Nielsen Company

Social Media Source: Sysomos query
Tracking key words: @CornerGas OR #CornerGasMovie OR "Corner Gas"

Social Media Source: Sysomos query
#cornergasmovie OR #cornergas OR @cornergas OR "corner gas movie" OR "corner gas: the movie" OR "dogriver" OR "corner gas" OR "dog river" OR "brentbutt" OR "Brent butt" OR "brent leroy" OR "lorne cardinal" OR @brentbutt OR wullarton OR (jackass AND Oscar) OR (Alright AND davis) OR (Brent AND Lacey)

Social Media Source: Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics
For demographic and post information.

SOURCE Comedy Network



For further information: Mary Costa, The Comedy Network, 416-384-7702 or mary.costa@bellmedia.ca; Margaret Sirotich, CORNER GAS, 647.466-1746 or msirotich@sympatico.ca

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