Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) announced today the Canadian original series that have been greenlit for production in 2011/2012. The line-up includes new seasons of returning comedies Call Me Fitz (Season 3), Funny as Hell (Season 2) and Good Dog (Season 2) as well as the blockbuster international co-production Transporter: The Series, produced in partnership with Cinemax/HBO.
“We are extremely pleased to have so many returning Canadian series and exciting new projects this year,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama, Corus Entertainment. “The triumph of Call Me Fitz is an amazing example of a Canadian series finding an audience at home and accolades internationally.”
“The Movie Network is on the crest of a new wave of original programming that is changing the way Canada and the world thinks about Canadian content,” said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. “Recent international sales indicate that 100% Canadian shows like Call Me Fitz resonate both here in Canada and on the global stage and are achieving new levels of success. Simultaneously, we’re collaborating with major international partners like HBO/Cinemax on series like Transporter that allow us to leverage Canadian talent and expertise and pursue a more ambitious scale of production. The real winners in this new era are ultimately our subscribers, who will enjoy even more premium entertainment.”
These greenlit series join a robust slate of original Movie Central and The Movie Network productions set to premiere in 2011/2012. Upcoming series, films and documentaries include:
The four-part mini-series adaptation of Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, an international co-production between Cité Amerique in Canada and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that stars Chris O’Dowd, Gillian Anderson and Richard E Grant;
Barrymore (Barrymore Entertainment Ltd.), which captures a live performance of the Tony Award-winning play starring the legendary Christopher Plummer;
Beauty Day (Primitive Entertainment), the festival audience-favourite documentary about original Jackass Ralph Zavadil (aka Cap’n Video);
Playing With Fire (Pyramid films Inc.), a feature documentary based on the best-selling book by controversial hockey great Theo Fleury;
The Captains (Le Big Boss Productions Inc.), written and directed by William Shatner, The Captains is a feature-length documentary that explores the impact Star Trek has had on the icon’s life;
SATAN: The Documentary (Banger Films Inc), a funny and twisted look at the history and influence of the Devil in pop culture from the creative team behind Global Metal and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.
NEW AND RETURNING SERIES GREENLIT FOR 2011/2012
Transporter: The Series, the TV adaptation of the successful film franchise, will film in Toronto later this Summer and is an international co-production between Canada’s QVF Inc., M6 and Atlantique Productions in France, Germany’s RTL Group and HBO/Cinemax in the U.S. This 12-part one-hour episode series stars Chris Vance (Dexter, Prison Break) as Frank Martin, the franchise’s hero, along with François Berléand (Transporter films), Andrea Osvart (Duplicity) and Delphine Chanéac (Splice).
Call Me Fitz has become an international success and a fan favourite with the first season of the Canadian series recently premiering on DirecTV in the U.S. The half-hour comedy stars Jason Priestley as Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, a morally degenerate used car salesman who is forced to welcome Larry, the actual living embodiment of his conscience, into his life. Call Me Fitz Season 2 is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2011 on HBO Canada and Season 3 is slated for production in 2011/2012 with 12 more half-hour episodes. Call Me Fitz is produced by E1 Entertainment, Amaze Film + Television, Big Motion Pictures, and created and executive produced by Sheri Elwood.
Canadian comic extraordinaire and series host Jon Dore returns with Funny As Hell Season 2, featuring more bold, uncensored stand-up from rising comedy stars, mixed with musical comedy and digital shorts. Produced by Just For Laughs Television, the eight-part, half-hour second season will be shot in front of a live audience at the 29th Just For Laughs Festival in July. Season 2 confirmed comics include Kristen Schaal (The Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) , Hannibal Buress (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), Bill Burr (Date Night, Chappelle’s Show) and Arj Barker (Flight of the Conchords) will premiere on HBO Canada in Winter 2012.
Created by and starring acclaimed writer, director and producer Ken Finkleman, Good Dog (Shaftesbury Films) focuses on the life of irritable, narcissistic TV producer George Findlay. In the second 10 x 30’ season of Good Dog, George will find himself playing the good dog in order to try to please an entirely new master as he takes the helm of a new Canadian right-wing conservative news network. Good Dog is produced by Shaftesbury. The first season of the series premiered on HBO Canada in March 2011, with season two set to commence production in June 2011.