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Press release from CNW Group

ABC Spark kicks off with day-and-date season premiere of ABC Family original series The Secret Life of the American Teenager on March 26

Monday, February 27, 2012

ABC Spark kicks off with day-and-date season premiere of ABC Family original series The Secret Life of the American Teenager on March 2613:09 EST Monday, February 27, 2012Primetime schedule also includes Switched at Birth, Melissa & Joey, Make It or Break Itand The Lying GameFor high-resolution images, please visit http://mediacentre.corusent.comTORONTO, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Corus Entertainment's newest service, ABC Spark, launches on Monday, March 26 with the day-and-date season premiere of the critically acclaimed The Secret Life of the American Teenager.The primetime schedule will also include ABC Family original series Switched at Birth, Melissa & Joey, The Lying Game and Make It or Break It. ABC Spark, built on the foundation of the successful U.S. brand ABC Family, will also feature a slate of popular general entertainment programming that will complement the primetime lineup."With the launch of ABC Spark, the wait is over for Canada. Fans of hit series like The Secret Life of the American Teenager will now have unprecedented access to ABC Family programming, delivered across multiple platforms," said Ted Ellis, Vice President, Programming, Kids and Family. "Nested blocks of ABC Family programming that aired on YTV, W Network and CMT leading up to the launch of the service have been very successful. Clearly, there is real appetite for these kinds of shows and we are excited to grow this brand in Canada."Viewers across Canada will have the opportunity to sample this new network during a free preview beginning Monday,March 26 through to Saturday, June 30.ABC Spark's primetime schedule to include:The Secret Life of the American Teenager - Season 4 - New episodes!Mondays at 8 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT starting March 26From the creator of 7th Heaven comes a heartfelt one-hour drama that focuses on the relationships between families and friends and how they deal with an unexpected teen pregnancy. The series' regular cast includes popular actress Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles) and Golden Globe® nominee Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, The O.C.). The series also stars Ken Baumann, Mark Derwin, India Eisley, Greg Finley, Daren Kagasoff, Megan Park and Francia Raisa with Steve Schirripa.The Secret Life of the American Teenager picks up right where it left off after a dramatic summer finale, with Amy accepting a marriage proposal from boyfriend, and father of her son, Ricky and Adrian and Ben moving on from their tragic past. This season, the series continues to explore new and ever changing relationships with the introduction of several new characters. Despite the crazy relationships, there's an undercurrent of discovery, honesty and growing up - even for the adults.Make It or Break It - Season 3Mondays at 9 p.m. ET / 10 p.m. PT starting March 26Make It or Break It is a one-hour scripted drama, set in the world of competitive gymnastics and follows a group of teen Olympic hopefuls as they train and prepare for their day in the spotlight.In Season 3, Payson (Ayla Kell), Kaylie (Josie Loren), and Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) move into the USA Training center to endure a rigorous eight-week training competition to make the cut for the 2012 Olympic gymnastics team. With a new coach and fierce competition - including the return of former rivals Kelly Parker and Jordan Randall - Payson, Kaylie and Lauren are pushed to their limits physically and emotionally. The girls are closer than ever and committed to making the Olympic team together, but secret betrayals, questionable alliances and the reality of competing to make the final cut will test their loyalties like never before.Switched at Birth - Season 1 - New episodes!Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT starting March 27A 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. Vanessa Marano plays Bay Kennish, a girl who grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), is a girl who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis and grew up with a single mother in a working class neighbourhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. This dramatic new series also includes Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City), and D.W. Moffett (Friday Night Lights). The series also stars Constance Marie, Lucas Grabeel and Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe. Academy Award® winner Marlee Matlin is a recurring guest star as Melody Bledsoe, Emmett's mother.Bay's father Angelo (Gilles Marini) is back and his motives continue to be questionable as he attempts to reunite the biological Vasquez family (himself, Regina, and Bay) and mend fences with Daphne. Bay and Emmett confront the obstacles of a hearing/deaf relationship, as Bay falls deeper for Emmett and meets his father.  Wilke (Austin Butler) heats up his romantic pursuit of Daphne, which complicates things between Toby (Grabeel) and Wilke.The Lying Game - Season 1Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET / 10 p.m. PT starting March 27In The Lying Game, inspired by the Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) book series of the same name, Emma (Alexandra Chando) is a kind-hearted foster kid who can't catch a break. She finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton (also played by Chando), who, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on their birth mother. Initially excited to do this favour for her sister, Emma soon learns that Sutton has gone missing and could be in trouble. Now, Emma must decide whether to come clean to Sutton's family and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister's true whereabouts, along with truth about why they were separated in the first place.Melissa & Joey - Season 1Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET/PT starting March 28Melissa & Joey is a hit comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. Melissa Joan Hart portrays Mel, 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 brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and adolescent nephew, Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family's "manny."ABC Spark is available in Canada through a license agreement between Corus Entertainment and Disney/ABC Television Group. 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.   www.abcspark.caAbout 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.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter -@ABCSparkCanadaFacebook -Facebook.com/ABCSparkCanadaFor high-resolution images, please visit http://mediacentre.corusent.com.Follow Corus PR on Twitter @CorusPRVideo with caption: "Video: ABC Spark kicks off with day-and-date season premiere of ABC Family original series The Secret Life of the American Teenager on March 26". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120227_C7726_VIDEO_EN_10477.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120227_C7726_PHOTO_EN_10477.jpg&clientName=Corus%20Entertainment%20Inc%2E&caption=Video%3A%20ABC%20Spark%20kicks%20off%20with%20day%2Dand%2Ddate%20season%20premiere%20of%20ABC%20Family%20original%20series%20The%20Secret%20Life%20of%20the%20American%20Teenager%20on%20March%2026&title=CORUS%20ENTERTAINMENT%20INC%2E%20%2D%20ABC%20Spark%20kicks%20off%20with%20day%2Dand%2Ddate%20season%20premiere%20of%20ABC%20Family%20original%20series%20The%20Secret%20Life%20of%20the%20American%20Teenager%20on%20March%2026&headline=ABC%20Spark%20kicks%20off%20with%20day%2Dand%2Ddate%20season%20premiere%20of%20ABC%20Family%20original%20series%20The%20Secret%20Life%20of%20the%20American%20Teenager%20on%20March%2026For further information: For more information, images or screeners, please contact: Judy LungCorus EntertainmentCommunications416.479.6757 judy.lung@corusent.com