New HBO and Showtime programming dominates Sunday and Monday nights on the Movie Network and Movie Central

    - Line-up begins Sunday, September 7 with Entourage and True Blood

    TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - This fall, Astral Media's The Movie Network
(eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (western Canada) add
an extra dose of excitement to Sunday and Monday nights with back-to-back new
and returning HBO and Showtime programming.
    The Movie Network and Movie Central's fall season kicks off on Sunday,
September 7 with the highly anticipated premiere of season five of HBO's hit
comedy series Entourage, immediately followed by the debut of Alan Ball's dark
new vampire drama True Blood. Beginning September 28, HBO's new half-hour
comedy series The Life & Times of Tim joins the Sunday night line-up along
with the long awaited third season premiere of Showtime's Dexter.
    On Monday, September 29, David Duchovny is back as novelist Hank Moody
for a second season of Showtime's Californication, followed by HBO's new
half-hour comedy Little Britain USA, a spin-off of the wildly successful
British series.
    "This is one of the busiest and most robust Sunday and Monday line-ups in
recent years for The Movie Network with the return of audience favourites such
as Dexter, Entourage and Californication and the introduction of Alan Ball's
much anticipated vampire drama True Blood," said Kevin Wright, Senior Vice
President, Programming, Astral Television Networks. "Together with the fact
that all of these series can be viewed in HD and on-demand, The Movie Network
is firing on all cylinders this fall."
    "Premium TV viewers are getting front row access this fall to some of the
best and most talked-about television that is being made today, seen first and
exclusively on Movie Central and The Movie Network," said Erica Benson, Vice
President, Programming, Movie Central. "As the home of HBO and Showtime
programming in Canada, we are delighted to be able to offer this exciting
line-up of new and returning must-see series to our audiences before anyone
    New episodes of all series will continue to air throughout fall and will
also be simulcast on The Movie Network and Movie Central's High Definition
channels. New episodes will also be available each week on The Movie Network
OnDemand and Movie Central On Demand. In November 2008, HBO's Summer Heights
High and the third season of Showtime's Brotherhood will join this line-up.

    Premiere dates, times and synopses for each series are outlined below:

    Entourage (Season 5)
    Premieres day-and-date with HBO on Sunday, September 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET /
    7:30 p.m. PT

    Drawing on the experiences of industry insiders, Entourage continues to
explore the world of Hollywood actor Vince Chase, his manager Eric,
half-brother Drama, party pal Turtle and neurotic agent Ari Gold. In season
five, Vince and Eric try to find ways to rejuvenate Vince's struggling career
after the failure of their personally financed film, Medellin. Drama,
meanwhile, continues his successful television career while experiencing
problems in his love life, and Turtle is forced to reexamine his contribution
to it all. Celebrity guest stars for season five include Mark Wahlberg, rapper
T.I., Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Tony Bennett. Starring Adrian Grenier, Jeremy
Piven, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Perrey Reeves, Debi Mazar
and Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui.

    True Blood (New Series)
    Premieres day-and-date with HBO on Sunday, September 7 at 9 p.m. ET /
    8 p.m. PT

    Six Feet Under's Alan Ball delivers a unique new series about vampires
who live freely amongst their human counterparts thanks to the invention of
mass-produced synthetic blood. Set in a small Louisiana town, True Blood
follows the story of Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress who can read people's
minds, and the latest object of her affection, 173-year-old Bill Compton, the
town's first vampire. The series is based on Charlaine Harris' Southern
Vampire novel series and stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.

    The Life & Times of Tim (New Series)
    Premieres day-and-date with HBO on Sunday, September 28 at 8 p.m. ET /
    9 p.m. PT

    This new animated, adult comedy series is about Tim, a 20-something
ordinary New Yorker who can't seem to catch a break in life. Tim's world
revolves around his live-in girlfriend Amy, who just wants him to be like
other boyfriends; Debbie, a local prostitute who tests Amy's patience; The
Boss, who promises Tim a series of promotions in exchange for corporate
misdeeds; Rodney, The Boss's obnoxious assistant with a passion for hockey and
porn; and Stu, Tim's best friend. Created, written, produced and voiced by
Steve Dildarian.

    Dexter (Season 3)
    Premieres day-and-date with Showtime on Sunday, September 28 at
    10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT

    This critically acclaimed series returns for a third season to follow
Miami Police Department forensics expert Dexter Morgan who moonlights as a
serial killer, ridding the world of those who have slipped through the cracks
of justice. Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R)-winning actor Jimmy Smits joins the
cast for ten episodes as Miguel Prado, an ambitious, charismatic assistant
district attorney from one of Miami's most politically powerful and beloved
families. In season three, Dexter joins forces with Prado - who's risen in the
ranks due to his aggressive stance against crime - in the pursuit of a
murderer who affects both of their lives directly. Starring Michael C. Hall,
Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, Julie Benz, David Zayas and James Remar.

    Californication (Season 2)
    Premieres Monday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT

    Starring Golden Globe(R)-winner David Duchovny, this award-winning series
picks up at the end of season one with Hank Moody seemingly on the right track
after winning back Karen, his ex-girlfriend and mother to his 13-year-old
daughter. But will his obsessions with truth-telling and self-destructive
behaviour with alcohol, drugs and sex destroy his nearly resurrected career as
a novelist, his role as father and his renewed commitment to his partner? Also
starring Natascha McElhone, Madeleine Martin, Madeline Zima and Evan Handler.

    Little Britain USA (New Series)
    Premieres Monday, September 29 at 9:30 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT

    Little Britain USA is a spin-off of the highly successful British
character-based sketch comedy series Little Britain. The series stars Matt
Lucas and David Walliams who take viewers on a hysterical tour as they play on
the people and places of contemporary America. Characters - all played by
Lucas and Walliams - include an awkward transvestite, a motor mouthed teenage
delinquent, a hospital receptionist and the British Prime Minister.

    The Movie Network is a pay television service available in eastern
Canada. With premiere access to Hollywood hit 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
    The Movie Network is an Astral Media Television Network. Astral Media is
a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and pay television,
radio, outdoor advertising and iMedia. 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.

    Movie Central is a 24-hour-a-day, commercial-free premium pay TV service
available to Western Canadians. Exclusive multi-year output agreements with
major Hollywood studios ensure that Movie Central is the preferred destination
for box office titles. In addition to being the first window, Canadian home to
the best of HBO and Showtime, through its investments, pre-buys and licence
fees for Canadian feature films and original series, Movie Central is
recognized as a major force in the Canadian independent film and television
production industry. The launch of Movie Central On Demand and Movie Central
High Definition demonstrates that Movie Central remains committed to being
first with innovations that enhance the viewing experience. Visit the Movie
Central website at
    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, advertising and
digital audio services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing
and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands
include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and
radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded
entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A
publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York
(CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at

    For access to The Movie Network's media room or Movie Central's press
site, please visit or

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: The Movie Network (eastern
Canada), Nicolle Balen, (416) 956-8638,; Movie Central
(western Canada), Owen McCorquodale, (416) 530-2249,

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The Movie Network

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Movie Central

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