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Canuck payboxes serve up slate

TMN, Movie Central get original

TORONTO — Canada’s two payboxes unveiled a slew of TV series, international co-productions and original pics at the Banff World Media Festival on Monday.

Astral’s The Movie Network, which serves the east of the country, and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central, which operates in the west, have jointly commissioned 10-episode cop drama “Rogue” (produced by eOne and Greenroom Entertainment), starring Thandie Newton, which begins lensing in Vancouver in August, and will also air on DirecTV in the U.S.

Also on the slate is historical miniseries “The Heretics,” currently in production in Romania and France. The 10-episode series is produced by TMN, Movie Central, Shaw Media and Sienna Films for Canada, and Breakout Films, Arte and France 2 for France.

Original docs and series on the shared slate include helmer Ron Mann’s theatrical biopic “Altman,” the Nightingale Company’s “The David Steinberg Documentary” (working title), Rob Stewart’s eco-adventure “Revolution: Sharkwater 2,” Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky’s “Water,” Banger Films’ celebrity biopic “Vincent Goes to Hell: An Alice Cooper Doc Opera” and Chris Szarka and Raj Panikkar’s six-parter “The Reelside,” in which Canuck directors interview their actor counterparts.

Returning comedy series include “Call Me Fitz” (eOne, Amaze Film Plus Television, Big Motion Pictures), “Funny As Hell” (Just for Laughs Television) and “Less Than Kind” (Breakthrough, Buffalo Gal Pictures),

Movie Central also announced its new Script to Screen TV and film development program, a partnership with the Winnipeg-based National Screen Institute. “In addition to providing Canadian screenwriters with robust funding, Script to Screen will offer support and expertise throughout the process,” said Corus original programming vice-prexy Jocelyn Hamilton in a statement.

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