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Press release from CNW Group

Canadians get a sneak peek of ABC Spark with nested blocks of hit series Switched at Birth and Melissa & Joey on YTV, W Network and CMT starting January 16

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Canadians get a sneak peek of ABC Spark with nested blocks of hit series Switched at Birth and Melissa & Joey on YTV, W Network and CMT starting January 1614:43 EST Thursday, December 01, 2011TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - In the New Year, Canadian viewers will have the opportunity to preview programming from Corus Entertainment's newest service, ABC Spark. Starting Monday, January 16, YTV, W Network and CMT (Canada) will air nested blocks of the channel's exclusive programming to promote the debut of ABC Spark, which will launch in late March. Built on the foundation of the successful U.S. brand ABC Family, ABC Spark is a multiplatform offering featuring original series and movies, as well as general entertainment programming. The 24-hour channel will have the same values, look, tone, essence and feel of ABC Family in the U.S."ABC Family has built their success as a top-rated cable service in the U.S. with seven consecutive years of growth, based on a brand that offers audiences quality shows and movies that reflect optimism, heart and humour. It is compelling and relatable programming that speaks to the millennial generation and beyond," said Susan Schaefer, Vice President, Head of Networks and Marketing, Corus Entertainment. "As we build towards the March launch of ABC Spark, we are thrilled to be able to give audiences a taste of some of the brand's most popular series, never before seen in Canada."Beginning Monday, January 16 on YTV, Canadians will be able to tune in to ABC Family's big summer hit, Switched at Birth. A one-hour scripted drama, Switched at Birth tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano, Gilmore Girls) grew up in a wealthy family with two parents (D.W. Moffett, Friday Night Lights and Lea Thompson, Caroline in the City) and a brother (Lucas Grabeel, High School Musical), while Daphne Vasquez (newcomer Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother (Constance Marie, George Lopez) in a working-class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Switched at Birth launched in the U.S. as ABC Family's No. 1 series debut of all time in key demos this past summer, and ranked as the top rated new series across all basic cable in those demos as well.Switched at Birth will air every Monday night at 9 p.m. on YTV. W Network will also air the series every Saturday at 12 p.m. starting January 21.Beginning Monday, January 16 on CMT, viewers will be able to catch Melissa & Joey, a half-hour comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. Mel is the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and her brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece and pre-adolescent nephew. With Mel spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe, who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family's "manny".Melissa & Joey will air Monday to Friday at 8:30 p.m. starting January 16 on CMT.ABC Spark will be available in Canada based on a license agreement with Disney/ABC Television Group.ABC Family is a top performing destination for millennials in the U.S. Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 98 million U.S. homes. ABC Family's programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals.About Corus EntertainmentCorus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The Company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.All YTV and W Network times are ET/PT.All CMT (Canada) times are ET.For high-resolution images, please visit http://mediacentre.corusent.com.Follow Corus PR on Twitter @CorusPRFor further information: For more information, images or screeners, please contact: Judy LungCorus EntertainmentCommunications416.479.6757 judy.lung@corusent.com