MOVIE CENTRAL AND THE MOVIE NETWORK OFFER LAUGHS AND ACTION WITH UPCOMING 2011-2012 PRODUCTION SLATE

BANFF, ALBERTA, June 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) announced today the Canadian original series that have been greenlit for production in 2011/2012. The line-up includes new seasons of returning comedies Call Me Fitz (Season 3), Funny as Hell (Season 2) and Good Dog (Season 2) as well as the blockbuster international co-production Transporter: The Series, produced in partnership with Cinemax/HBO.

"We are extremely pleased to have so many returning Canadian series and exciting new projects this year," said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama, Corus Entertainment. "The triumph of Call Me Fitz is an amazing example of a Canadian series finding an audience at home and accolades internationally."

"The Movie Network is on the crest of a new wave of original programming that is changing the way Canada and the world thinks about Canadian content," said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. "Recent international sales indicate that 100% Canadian shows like Call Me Fitz resonate both here in Canada and on the global stage and are achieving new levels of success. Simultaneously, we're collaborating with major international partners like HBO/Cinemax on series like Transporter that allow us to leverage Canadian talent and expertise and pursue a more ambitious scale of production. The real winners in this new era are ultimately our subscribers, who will enjoy even more premium entertainment."

These greenlit series join a robust slate of original Movie Central and The Movie Network productions set to premiere in 2011/2012. Upcoming series, films and documentaries include:

  • The four-part mini-series adaptation of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White, an international co-production between Cité Amerique in Canada and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that stars Chris O'Dowd, Gillian Anderson and Richard E Grant ;
  • Barrymore (Barrymore Entertainment Ltd.), which captures a live performance of the Tony Award-winning play starring the legendary Christopher Plummer;
  • Beauty Day (Primitive Entertainment), the festival audience-favourite documentary about original Jackass Ralph Zavadil (aka Cap'n Video);
  • Playing With Fire (Pyramid films Inc.), a feature documentary based on the best-selling book by controversial hockey great Theo Fleury;
  • The Captains (Le Big Boss Productions Inc.), written and directed by William Shatner, The Captains is a feature-length documentary that  explores the impact Star Trek has had on the icon's life;
  • SATAN: The Documentary (Banger Films Inc), a funny and twisted look at the history and influence of the Devil in pop culture from the creative team behind Global Metal and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

NEW AND RETURNING SERIES GREENLIT FOR 2011/2012

Transporter: The Series, the TV adaptation of the successful film franchise, will film in Toronto later this Summer and is an international co-production between Canada's QVF Inc., M6 and Atlantique Productions in France, Germany's RTL Group and HBO/Cinemax in the U.S. This 12-part one-hour episode series stars Chris Vance (Dexter, Prison Break) as Frank Martin, the franchise's hero, along with François Berléand (Transporter films), Andrea Osvart (Duplicity) and Delphine Chanéac (Splice).

Call Me Fitz has become an international success and a fan favourite with the first season of the Canadian series recently premiering on DirecTV in the U.S. The half-hour comedy stars Jason Priestley as Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick, a morally degenerate used car salesman who is forced to welcome Larry, the actual living embodiment of his conscience, into his life. Call Me Fitz Season 2 is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2011 on HBO Canada and Season 3 is slated for production in 2011/2012 with 12 more half-hour episodes. Call Me Fitz is produced by E1 Entertainment, Amaze Film + Television, Big Motion Pictures, and created and executive produced by Sheri Elwood.

Canadian comic extraordinaire and series host Jon Dore returns with Funny As Hell Season 2, featuring more bold, uncensored stand-up from rising comedy stars, mixed with musical comedy and digital shorts. Produced by Just For Laughs Television, the eight-part, half-hour second season will be shot in front of a live audience at the 29th Just For Laughs Festival in July. Season 2 confirmed comics include Kristen Schaal (The Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) , Hannibal Buress (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), Bill Burr (Date Night, Chappelle's Show) and Arj Barker (Flight of the Conchords) will premiere on HBO Canada in Winter 2012.

Created by and starring acclaimed writer, director and producer Ken Finkleman, Good Dog (Shaftesbury Films) focuses on the life of irritable, narcissistic TV producer George Findlay. In the second 10 x 30' season of Good Dog, George will find himself playing the good dog in order to try to please an entirely new master as he takes the helm of a new Canadian right-wing conservative news network. Good Dog is produced by Shaftesbury. The first season of the series premiered on HBO Canada in March 2011, with season two set to commence production in June 2011.

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)     Movie Central (western Canada)
Nicolle Balen         Owen McCorquodale
(416) 956-8638        (416) 479-6068
nbalen@astral.com       owen.mccorquodale@corusent.com

 

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