Start of Production of new Anne of Green Gables TV Movie Marks "A New Beginning" with CTV

    - 12-year-old Hannah Endicott-Douglas wins worldwide search for new Anne
    Shirley -

    - New Anne of Green Gables "prequel" co-stars Barbara Hershey and Rachel
    Blanchard; set to premiere on CTV in 2008 -

    - CTV acquires 128 hours of programming from Sullivan Entertainment -

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - She's back...and precocious as ever. Production
has begun on Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, a three-hour movie and
television event set to have its world premiere on CTV in 2008. The
announcement was made today by Kevin Sullivan, President, Sullivan
Entertainment and Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels,
CTV Inc. After screening nearly 1,000 young girls from around the globe,
Toronto's Hannah Endicott-Douglas has been cast by Sullivan as the newest Anne
Shirley for the movie. Endicott-Douglas co-stars with Rachel Blanchard and
Academy Award nominee Barbara Hershey, who plays Anne as a woman in her
fifties reflecting on her past. A New Beginning is the prequel to the original
1985 Anne of Green Gables mini-series, which has also been acquired by CTV in
addition to the entire Anne catalogue and more, totaling 128 hours of content.

    Today's announcement of the new Anne Shirley follows an extensive search
to find an actress who could play one of Canada's most beloved fictional
characters and an international icon. The search included an open casting call
on YouTube, a cross-Canada audition tour and screening nearly a thousand young
girls' audition submissions from Canada, the United States, England and
Australia. After three months of searching, 12-year-old Hannah
Endicott-Douglas (The Good Witch; Samantha: An American Girl) was chosen by
award-winning filmmaker Kevin Sullivan to carry on the legacy of Anne Shirley.
Principal photography continues until November 7, 2007 on location throughout

    (*) Media Note (*) Download photos of the new Anne Shirley at Meet Hannah Endicott-Douglas tonight on CTV's eTalk.

    In a completely new screenplay by Sullivan, Anne of Green Gables: A New
Beginning reveals Anne's early life before her arrival at Green Gables. The
movie is book-ended by the introduction of Anne as an older woman now in her
fifties, played by Emmy and Golden-Globe winning actress Barbara Hershey (The
Portrait of a Lady, Hannah and Her Sisters). Rachel Blanchard (7th Heaven,
Clueless) rounds out the cast as Louisa Thomas. Additional casting details
will be announced soon.

    "To say that we are 'excited' about bringing the Anne of Green Gables
franchise to CTV would be an understatement!" said Kevin Sullivan, President,
Sullivan Entertainment. "Ivan Fecan and I created the "Avonlea/Family Hour"
franchise on CBC in the early 90s and together we made it into one of Canada's
most successful weekly television events. We are very proud to have been given
the opportunity by Ivan and his team to premiere A New Beginning on CTV as a
major television event, for the enjoyment of a new and younger audience; as
well as for the audience that fell in love with the original."

    "As Anne says, we've become 'kindred spirits' with Sullivan
Entertainment," said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels,
CTV Inc. "Anne of Green Gables is an enduring and endearing worldwide
franchise. We welcome Anne with great respect and look forward to the world
premiere of A New Beginning on CTV."

    Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning comes to CTV along with eight other
titles from Sullivan Entertainment, including the original three Anne of Green
Gables mini-series, the Emmy Award winning series Road to Avonlea, and more.
CTV has also acquired Kevin Sullivan's The Magic Flute Diaries starring Rutger
Hauer, Warren Christie and singer Mireille Asselin, showcasing Toronto's
internationally renowned Opera Atelier Baroque Opera Company.

    CTV's acquisition includes:

    -  Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (TV Movie, three hours)
    -  Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Green Gables - The Sequel; Anne of
       Green Gables - The Continuing Story (Mini-Series; 13 hours)
    -  Road to Avonlea (TV Series; 91 hours)
    -  Road to Avonlea Christmas (TV Movie; two hours)
    -  Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (TV Series; 13 hours)
    -  Anne, Journey to Green Gables (Animated Feature, two hours)
    -  The Magic Flute Diaries (Feature, two hours)
    -  Mozart Decoded - The Magic Flute Diaries Documentary (Documentary,
       1 hour)
    -  Anne Trilogy Documentary (Documentary, 1 hour)

    Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea have been broadcast in over 140
countries around the world and have won numerous awards including four Emmys,
the George Foster Peabody Award, CableAce Awards and numerous Gemini's. Anne
of Green Gables: The Sequel originally aired in 1987 and has remained the
highest rated mini-series ever to air in Canada with an audience of 5.4

    Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is produced by Sullivan
Entertainment in association with CTV. Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Sullivan
(Anne of Green Gables, Magic Flute Diaries) wrote the original screenplay and
is also directing and executive producing the film. Trudy Grant (Anne: Journey
To Green Gables, The Piano Man's Daughter) is also the executive producer of
the film. Ray Sager (Magic Flute Diaries, Wind At My Back) is the executive in
charge of production and Yuri Yakubiw (1-800-Missing, Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye) is
the director of photography. Martha Mann (Lantern Hill, Road To Avonlea) is
the costume designer and was also the costume designer on the original, multi
award-winning Anne of Green Gables mini-series.

    Now in its 29th year, Sullivan Entertainment continues to be an
internationally recognized and award-winning producer of television series,
feature films and mini-series. Established in 1979 by Kevin Sullivan and Trudy
Grant, Sullivan Entertainment quickly became the producer of Canada's most
watched television, with the Green Gables-Avonlea franchise. Great successes
for Sullivan Entertainment have included the critically-acclaimed television
series A Wind at My Back, Butterbox Babies - the highest-rated Canadian
television movie of all time and the Piano Man's Daughter - a feature film
starring Stockard Channing and Christian Campbell based on the novel by
Timothy Findley. Sullivan Entertainment productions have been praised for
their visual beauty, their strong storytelling and the fine acting through
which they weave their unique spell. Sullivan Entertainment has expanded into
several additional successful business ventures including the Sullivan
Boutique, Sullivan Entertainment International, Sullivan Home Entertainment
and Sullivan Animation.

    Visit for updates about Anne of Green Gables: A
New Beginning as well as for other exciting film and television projects from
Sullivan Entertainment.

    CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality
news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the
number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is
the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTVglobemedia Inc. is Canada's
premier multi-media company which owns CTV Inc. and The Globe and Mail. CTV
Inc. also owns radio stations across the country, and leading national
specialty channels. Other CTVglobemedia investments include an interest in
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and in Dome Productions, a North American
leader in the provision of mobile high definition production facilities. More
information about CTV may be found on the company website at

For further information:

For further information: Laura Heath, CTV Inc., (416) 332-5305,; Michelle Daides, Sullivan Entertainment, (416) 573-3960,

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