Specialty channels get p'gramming in deal

MONTREAL — Producer and broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications and pubcaster the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. have inked a three-year deal to commission local television projects.

The shows will range from drama to kids’ fare for broadcast on CBC and Alliance Atlantis’ 18 specialty channels including Showcase, Life Network, History Television, the Independent Film Channel Canada and BBC Canada.

In addition, the deal allows for an early telecast window on Alliance Atlantis channels of a number of top-rated CBC series, notably the satirical comedies “Made in Canada” and “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”

‘Prime opportunity’

“The development, production and broadcasting of popular Canadian television is a critical mandate for us,” said Alliance Atlantis CEO Michael MacMillan. “Collaborating with the CBC represents a prime opportunity for us to achieve this goal.”

CBC prexy Robert Rabinovitch added: “In today’s challenging media environment, CBC believes that partnerships between the public and private broadcast sector are key to our future. Partnerships such as this benefit the viewing public with more Canadian drama.”

In addition to the joint-commissioning arrangement, CBC and Alliance Atlantis have agreed to develop a variety of shows together to air on the Alliance Atlantis channels and CBC.

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