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Astral Media Inc. : The Movie Network and Movie Central Announce 2013 Production Slate

06/10/2013 | 11:55am US/Eastern
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June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013- Banff, Alberta- Astral's The Movie Network(Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada) are pleased to announce the original series, comedy specials and documentaries that have been greenlit for production in 2013. The line-up includes the new half-hour comedy series, Sensitive Skin, slated to begin shooting in Toronto in October; returning stand-up series Funny as Hell; and documentaries Fanarchists: The Fan Film Phenomenon; Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story; Hip Hop Evolutionand The DNA of GSP.

"The Movie Network's latest crop of projects reflects our ongoing commitment to working with the finest Canadian talent, both in front and behind the camera," said Aubie Greenberg, Director Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. "We are proud to support Kim Cattrall's return to the small screen, another season of hilarity from Jon Dore and exciting new documentary projects that take on seminal figures and issues in popular culture."

"With daring films and series that can only be seen on PayTV, Movie Central continues to be home to top quality, boundary pushing Canadian original productions," said Julie Di Cresce, Director, Original Programming, Drama & Comedy, Corus Entertainment. "We're thrilled to have the iconic Kim Cattrall join our schedule alongside our other home-grown talent including Jon Dore and Jason Priestley."

The new and returning series and documentaries greenlit for 2013 join previously announced projects slated to air this fall, including the fourth season of the popular and acclaimed half-hour comedy Call Me Fitzand the inaugural season of six-part documentary series Reelside.

In addition to these original series, specials and documentaries, The Movie Network and Movie Central continue to support the best in Canadian film. Notable up-coming films include Jeff Barnaby's Rhymes from Young Ghouls, The F Wordfrom Mike Dowse, Atom Egoyan's Queen of the Night, Jason Priestley's Cas and Dylan, Enemyfrom Denis Villeneuve and Escapefrom Tehran from Larry Weinstein and Drew Taylor.

New Canadian original productions from The Movie Network and Movie Central for 2013:

Sensitive Skin (6 x 30 min; comedy)
Kim Cattrall returns to television in this half-hour comedy that revolves around a woman going through a mid-life crisis. Based on the acclaimed UK series, Sensitive Skinalso stars Don McKellar, who will also direct. The series will be written by Bob Martin and produced by Rhombus Media. Series slated to begin shooting in Toronto in October and will air in 2014.

Funny As Hell - Season 4 (10 x 30 min; comedy)
Produced by Just for Laughs Television, Funny As Hellis back for a hell of a fourth season. The half-hour comedy series mixes daring stand-up featuring some of the funniest rising stars in comedy, with musical comedy and digital shorts. Hosted by Jon Dore, Season 4 will be filmed during the 2013 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and will air in 2014.

Fanarchists: The Fan Film Phenomenon (1 x 90 min; documentary)
Directed by Donna Davies and produced by Ruby Tree Films (Nightmare Factory), Fanarchistsdelves in to the world of amateur-made films that play in the shadows of Hollywoods' greatest creations.  Armed with the latest technology, rogue films fans take media into their own hands, jeopardizing Hollywood's place as the driving force in popular culture. Production scheduled to begin in summer of 2013.

Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story(1 x 90 min; documentary)
From director/producer Barry Avrich comes the extraordinary story of the larger than legendary Bob Guccione. Visionary, public-relations master, recluse and self-destructive optimist, Avrich tracks Guccione from the pinnacle of power and wealth as publisher of Penthouseto his spectacular fall into personal debt in the tens of millions of dollars. Production is complete, with a broadcast tentatively slated for fall 2013.

Hip Hop Evolution(2 x 90 min; documentary)
Produced by the renowned team at Banger Films (Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage; Metal Evolution), Hip Hop Evolutionfollows critically acclaimed MC and hip-hop scholar Shad as he realizes every hip-hop fan's dream: a global journey through hip hop's superstar artists, producers and moguls to unravel the music's complex DNA. Production slated to begin in summer 2013.

The DNA of GSP(1 x 90 min; documentary)
The action-packed life story of Canadian Georges St-Pierre (GSP), UFC World Welterweight Champion and one of the most high-profile athletes in the world. Currently in production, The DNA of GSPis directed by Peter Svatek and Kristian Manchester and produced as a co-venture between Triplex Films, Upside Up Media Group and Jimmy Lee.

The Movie Networkis a pay television service available in eastern Canada. With premiere access to Hollywood hit movies, new and exclusive HBO content, critically acclaimed 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 - The Movie Network, HBO Canada, MExcess, MFun! and MFest - which deliver diverse and entertaining programs in an uncut and commercial-free television environment. All five multiplex channels are also simulcast in High Definition and are joined by The Movie Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in select areas across eastern Canada; TMN OnLine an Internet-based content streaming service available to Bell TV, Rogers and Videotron subscribers; and TMN GO, a video streaming service currently available to Bell TV, Rogers and Cogeco Cable subscribers. For more information, please visit www.themovienetwork.ca.

Astral Media Inc.(TSX:ACM.A/ACM.B) is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

Movie Centralis a commercial-free premium pay TV service available in western Canada. Movie Central premieres the best in Hollywood, international and Canadian films across nine 24-hour movie channels, including dedicated high-definition feeds, a Movie Central On Demand service and exclusive HBO content on HBO Canada. Movie Central is also the first window for Showtime content and home to cutting-edge Canadian series. A major force in the Canadian independent film and television production industry, Movie Central, through The Corus Made with Pay Fund, supports many critically-acclaimed and award-winning Canadian series and films. Visit the Movie Central website at www.moviecentral.ca.

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, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

For access to The Movie Network's media room or Movie Central's press site, please visit http://press.astral.com or http://mediacentre.corusent.com

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