Pack your bags! 'Vacation with Derek' is now in production

        -  Entire Cast of Life With Derek Reunites for Television Movie
        -  Ashley Leggat, Michael Seater, Daniel Magder, Jordan Todosey,
                 Ariel Waller, Joy Tanner and John Ralston.
        -  So You Think You Can Dance Canada Winner Nico Archambault
                                 Guest Stars

TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - Shaftesbury Films and Astral Media's Family Channel are thrilled to announce that the highly successful comedy series Life with Derek is back with the TV-movie Vacation with Derek. Directed by award-winner Michael McGowan (One Week, Saint Ralph), the TV-movie will have Ashley Leggat and Michael Seater reprising their roles as the rival step-siblings and will be joined by former cast mates Daniel Magder, Jordan Todosey, Ariel Waller, Joy Tanner and John Ralston. The TV-movie production runs September 14, 2009, through until October 7, 2009, and will shoot on location in Northern Ontario. Commissioned by Family Channel, Vacation with Derek will air in 2010.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada season one winner Nico Archambault will guest star as 'Jesse', the dance instructor at the lodge where the McDonald-Venturi's take their vacation. Nico has also signed on to be the choreographer for the television movie. Also guest starring as 'Felicia', Casey's Grandmother, is award-winning actress Kate Trotter (Murdoch Mysteries, The Jane Show).

"Shaftesbury is thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with Family Channel. They're terrific collaborators and make kids' shows that Canadians and audiences around the world enjoy," said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury Films. "Vacation with Derek is the perfect complement to this extraordinarily successful franchise. The movie is sure to provide kids with more of what they've come to love about Life with Derek."

"Life with Derek is one of the most successful series on our network and we have enjoyed a very collaborative and creative relationship with Shaftesbury and the Life with Derek team over the last several years," said Michael Goldsmith, Director, Original Programming, Family Channel and Playhouse Disney Canada. "We are thrilled to be able to provide our viewers with a new TV-movie that will bring back the beloved characters and incorporate the music and dance themes that resonate so well with our audience."

Vacation with Derek, starring Ashley Leggat and Michael Seater, is based on the internationally successful comedy series Life with Derek. The TV-movie will follow the McDonald-Venturi family as the children are forced to spend part of their summer vacation with their grandmother at her lodge.

Vacation with Derek is produced by Shaftesbury Films. Executive Producers are Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie for Shaftesbury, and Daphne Ballon. Producers are Suzanne French and Stephen Montgomery, with Shaftesbury Films' Laura Harbin and Peter Meyboom serving as Supervising Producers. Created by Daphne Ballon, and commissioned by The Family Channel (Canada), the TV-movie is distributed internationally by Shaftesbury Sales Company. Life with Derek: The Complete Second Season (KOCH Entertainment) is now available on DVD in retail outlets across Canada.

Vacation with Derek is produced by Shaftesbury Films in association with Family Channel and is produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund with the financial participation of The Shaw Rocket Fund and is produced with the participation of COGECO Program Fund and the Video Production Tax Credit and Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit Tax Credits.

About Family Channel:

Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in family television entertainment in 6 million homes across Canada. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of programming supplied by Disney. Family Channel also offers Family OnDemand in select areas, a Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service that features hit Disney movies and series, top-rated Canadian series and Playhouse Disney programming. Visit us at

Family Channel is an Astral Television Network. Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and interactive media. 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 more information about Astral Media, please visit

About Shaftesbury Films:

Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury Films has established a reputation as one of Canada's leading producers of high quality film and television programming. Recent productions include; the highly anticipated drama series Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures for The Movie Network and Movie Central; the drama series The Listener for CTV, NBC and Fox International Channels; the drama series Murdoch Mysteries for Citytv and UKTV; the drama series ReGenesis for The Movie Network, Movie Central and Showcase; the record breaking TV movies In God's Country and Eight Days to Live, starring Kelly Rowan for CTV; and The Robber Bride, the Emmy-nominated TV movie starring Gemini award-winner Mary-Louise Parker for CBC. Shaftesbury Films also produces a variety of kids' programming, including 70 episodes of the highly successful series Life with Derek, currently airing on Family Channel and broadcast in over 120 countries worldwide and the upcoming comedy series Overruled! for Family Channel. Most recently, Shaftesbury has established a Digital Media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, an award-winning developer of original multiplatform digital content. Visit the Shaftesbury website at


For further information: For further information: or to arrange set visits and media interviews, please contact: Sue Baldaro, Communications Director, Shaftesbury Films, Unit Publicist, Vacation with Derek, (416) 363-1411 ext. 154, (647) 802-0739 mobile,

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