'Transporter' highlights upcoming slate
“Transporter: The Series” highlights the 2011-12 slate of Astral Media’s the Movie Network (eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (western Canada), the premium pay TV services announced Monday from the Banff World Media Festival.Based on the “Transporter” film franchise and starring Chris Vance (“Dexter”) as the hero behind the wheel, the 12-parter begins shooting in Toronto this summer. Canada’s QVF partners with HBO-Cinemax, France’s M6 and Atlantique Prods and Germany’s RTL Group on the series TMN and Movie Central also greenlit season three of Jason Priestley starrer “Call Me Fitz” (eOne, Amaze Film and Television, Big Motion Pictures), which recently preemed on DirecTV’s Channel 101 in the U.S. In a statement, Corus VP of original programming (kids, comedy, drama) Jocelyn Hamilton called the show “an amazing example of a Canadian series finding an audience at home and accolades internationally.” Astral’s original programming director of movie services Aubie Greenberg said the global success of “Fitz” had led to greater international collaboration. “Series like ‘Transporter’ allow us to leverage Canadian talent and expertise and pursue a more ambitious scale of production,” he said.The movie networks also gave the nod to second seasons of Canuck standup star John Dore’s “Funny As Hell” (Just For Laughs Television) and of multi-hyphenate Ken Finkleman’s “Good Dog” (Shaftsbury Films). Both shows lens this summer. Astral has also greenlit second seasons of live-action comedies “Really Me (FreshTV) and “What’s Up, Warthog!” (Dolphin Entertainment/Aircraft Prods.) and a third season of “Wingin’ It” (Temple Street Prods.) for its Family Channel. And the company’s pay TV channel Disney Junior (offered in English and French) has ordered a second helping of the animated series “Justin Time” from Guru Studio (“The Backyardigans,” “Guess With Jess”). All four kids series begin production in Toronto this summer.