The Movie Network and Movie Central commission cutting-edge new original drama series Sanctuary

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Astral Media's The Movie Network (eastern Canada)
and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (western Canada) have commissioned
13-episodes of one of the first television series ever to be conceived from an
Internet-based concept. Initially developed as eight broadcast-quality
webisodes from the creative talent behind Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate:
Atlantis, Sanctuary is an original drama series that is also the first to be
shot entirely on green screen.

    Commissioned by and airing on The Movie Network and Movie Central, the
series has also been green lit by the SCI FI Channel in the U.S. which will
broadcast the series day and date with the Canadian broadcasters in fall 2008.

    Using next-generation visual effects through 3-D green-screen technology,
the series is set in a mysterious and supernatural world and follows the
adventures of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), her reluctant protégé Will
Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) and her fearless and somewhat reckless daughter Ashley
(Emilie Ullerup), as they study and try to help the strange, terrifying and
monstrous creatures that populate their world.

    "We are thrilled to be a part of this true multi-platform project that is
breaking new ground on numerous fronts - from its unique conception to its
distinctive graphic novel look and feel this series will be the first of its
kind on Canadian television," said Michelle Marion, Director, Canadian
Independent Production, The Movie Network. "Together with Sanctuary's
powerfully likeable characters, rich and compelling storytelling and dramatic
visual style, our subscribers will have access to a series unlike anything
seen before on television and one that has already built a huge following

    Currently in production by Vancouver-based Stage 3 Media Inc. and
distributed by Tricon Films and Television, the series will be shot in high
definition and will be helmed by the creative team responsible for Sanctuary,
including creator and executive producer Damian Kindler (Stargate: SG-1,
Stargate: Atlantis), executive producer and lead actor Amanda Tapping
(Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis), executive producer and director Martin
Wood (Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis), executive producer and writer Sam
Egan (Jeremiah, The Outer Limits); and executive producer John Smith
(Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis).

    "Movie Central subscribers love the Stargate franchise, and with many of
the same members of the strong creative team from Stargate involved in this
new sci-fi production, we are confident that Sanctuary will really appeal to
our audience," said Erica Benson, Vice President Programming, Movie Central.
"We're also proud to be supporting a technologically innovative
western-Canadian production - that's a win-win for both our partners and our

    "The Movie Network and Movie Central are the perfect fit for Sanctuary.
These Canadian networks championed this project from the beginning and
recognized Sanctuary as one of the most ambitious home-grown Canadian projects
to date. We couldn't be more thrilled about working together and bringing this
extraordinary series to the channels' subscribers," said Carrie Mudd, Vice
President, International Sales & Development, Tricon Films & Television.

    The Movie Network is an Astral Media network 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. As a major supporter of Canadian original
programming, The Movie Network has contributed over $350 million toward
Canadian content since the launch of the channel in 1983. For more
information, please visit

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty,
pay and pay-per-view 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 further information:

For further information: Media contact: The Movie Network (eastern
Canada), Roopa Shah, (416) 956-8584,; Movie Central
(western Canada), Lindsay Smith, (416) 530-2248,

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The Movie Network

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Movie Central

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