Movie Network drinks ‘True Blood’

Canadian channel picks up HBO series

The Canadian premiere of the new HBO series “True Blood” — a vampire drama from “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer — is one of the highlights of the fall schedule of Canuck pay TV channel the Movie Network. The Movie Network, which is owned by Montreal-based Astral Media, and two other Astral channels, Mpix and Viewers Choice, announced their fall programming Monday.

The Movie Network will also have three new half-hour comedies: “Little Britain in America,” a spinoff from the British series; “Summer Heights High” from Australia; and the animated series “The Life & Times of Tim.” The HBO comedy “Entourage,” one of the Movie Network’s top-rated shows, will return for its fifth season on the Canadian network. The channel will air a number of HBO docus, including “The Recruiter,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery” and “Fall From Grace: The Ted Haggard Story.”

Sharing the wealth, the Movie Network will have three series from Showtime: Season three of “Dexter,” the second season of “Californication” and the third season of crime drama “Brotherhood.” New homegrown fare on the way to the Movie Network include the series “Sanctuary” from the creative talent behind the hit series “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis” and starring Amanda Tapping. The two other Canadian series coming to The Movie Network are “ZOS: Zone of Separation,” exec produced by multi-hyphenate Paul Gross, and playwright George F. Walker’s drama “The Weight.”

Mpix’s fall schedule will include a spotlight on the films of the Coen brothers, a tribute to legendary Canuck comic John Candy and a marathon of James Bond movies.

The pay-per-view service Viewers Choice will feature event programming, including Ultimate Fighting Championship, WWE Wrestling, HBO Boxing and the 2010 World Cup qualifying soccer.

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