The Movie Network presents a new line-up of entertaining drama programming this winter season



    TORONTO, Dec. 18 /CNW/ - While a winter chill is striking television
schedules, Astral Media's The Movie Network (eastern Canada) is firing up the
winter season, offering a new and exclusive slate of Canadian programming and
dramas from HBO and Showtime. Beginning January 2008, The Movie Network
presents six new drama series, season premieres and original films. Complete
descriptions, video previews and high-resolution images for this programming
are available at: http://tv.astral.com/highlights.
    "As a premium service, we have a strong commitment to our subscribers,
ensuring that we continually offer new and riveting programming with the value
and quality they have come to expect from pay-TV. With a compelling line-up of
new drama combined with our Hollywood-hit movies, on-demand and high
definition services, viewers can turn to The Movie Network for a refreshing
and new slate of television entertainment this winter season," said Kevin
Wright, Senior Vice-President, Programming, Astral Television Networks.

    New programming on The Movie Network includes:

    The Wire (HBO; Season 5)
    Premieres Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 9 p.m. ET (10 x 60 min; drama)

    Returning for a ten-episode fifth and final season, this critically
acclaimed series from creator and executive producer David Simon takes place
in the drug-saturated streets of West Baltimore and follows stories from both
sides of the law - the police and the criminals they target. Season five will
focus on the media and the world of journalism with some of the storylines
based within a fictional newspaper modeled after The Baltimore Sun. Starring
Dominic West, Clarke Peters and Sonja Sohn.

    In Treatment (HBO; New Series)
    Premieres Monday, January 28, 2008 at 8:30 p.m. ET (43 x 30 min; drama)

    Gabriel Byrne stars as Paul, a psychotherapist who exhibits an insightful
and reserved demeanour while treating his patients, but secretly has his own
set of painstaking problems in this 43-episode, half-hour series. The series
will air Monday to Friday, with each day of the week dedicated to one of
Paul's four patients. The fifth episode (on Fridays) features Paul as he seeks
counsel from his therapist for his own crippling insecurity and anger. Paul's
patients include: Laura, a woman in her 30s who reveals her love for the
therapist; Alex, a U.S. Air Force pilot torn by his role in the Iraqi war;
Sophie, a young girl with a potentially dark secret; and Jake and Amy, a
couple on the verge of breaking up. In Treatment is based on a hit Israeli
series and is executive produced by Mark Whalberg. Also starring Dianne Wiest,
Blair Underwood and Melissa George.

    Bernard and Doris (HBO; Film)
    Premieres Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 9 p.m. ET

    Based on the real-life story of late tobacco billionairness Doris Duke
and her unlikely and unexpected friendship with her devoted, gay butler,
Bernard Lafferty, to whom she left her entire fortune. Starring Susan Sarandon
and Ralph Fiennes.

    John Adams (HBO; Miniseries)
    Premieres March 2008 (7 x 60 min; drama)

    Based on the award-winning biography John Adams by David McCullough, this
original miniseries chronicles the life of the second president of the United
States of America, his role in the American Revolution, and his continued hand
in shaping the early life of the republic. John Adams is executive produced by
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman and stars Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, Stephen
Dillane, David Morse and Sarah Polley.

    State of the Union (Showtime; New Series)
    Premieres March 2008 (5 x 30 min; comedy)

    Acclaimed comedienne Tracey Ullman returns to television in a new sketch
comedy series that takes a satirical look at life in America today. In each
episode, Ullman takes on characters as diverse as working mothers, politicians
and celebrities.

    ReGenesis (Canadian Original; Season 4)
    Premieres March 2008 (13 x 60 min; drama)

    In the fourth season of this Gemini award-winning series, Bob is found
sick with a brain infection, and with little memory of what happened to him,
he is haunted by a face and quickly becomes convinced that somewhere, someone
knows the answers he is searching for. Meanwhile, Chief Scientist David
Sandstrom leads his team to solve a number of mysterious outbreaks including
the most lethal hepatitis ever seen and a case of drug resistant tuberculosis.
Starring Peter Outerbridge, Wendy Crewson, Conrad Pla, Mayko Nguyen, Dmitry
Chepovetsky and Greg Bryk.

    The Movie Network is an Astral Media network available in eastern Canada.
With premiere access to Hollywood movies, critically-acclaimed HBO and
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, MMore, 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 and MMore HD, two dedicated
high-definition channels providing hundreds of titles in HD; and The Movie
Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in
select areas across eastern Canada. For more information, please visit
www.themovienetwork.ca.

    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 access to The Movie Network's media room, please visit
http://tv.astral.com.





For further information:

For further information: Nicolle Balen, (416) 956-8638,
nbalen@tv.astral.com; Roopa Shah, (416) 956-8584, rshah@tv.astral.com

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The Movie Network

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