Shaftesbury's "Connor Undercover" Acquired By Starz Entertainment
Premieres in March on Starz Kids & Family
Toronto/Beverly Hills, February 22, 2011 - Shaftesbury Sales Company, the distribution arm of leading production company Shaftesbury, today announced that Starz Entertainment in the United States has acquired both seasons of its popular "Connor Undercover" live action adventure series for kids (39 x 30 minutes). This is the third title that Starz has acquired from Shaftesbury's award-winning kids and family slate, following the two previously announced acquisitions of the made-for-television movie Vacation with Derek and tween series "Baxter." "Connor Undercover" and "Baxter" will premiere on the Starz Kids & Family channel on March 1, and Vacation with Derek will make its debut on the same channel on March 6.
"Adding these stellar titles from Shaftesbury greatly enhances the new direction we're taking with Starz Kids & Family, our exceptional niche channel," said Keenan Young, director programming acquisitions for Starz.
Co-produced by Shaftesbury and Heroic Film Company, "Connor Undercover" follows the adventures of 15-year-old spy buff Connor Heath (Max Morrow), whose life is kicked into overdrive when Gisela Calicos (Lola Tash), the first daughter of the leader of a small island nation, is sent to live with his family to escape political danger at home. Intrigue and mystery follow Gisela wherever she goes, so Connor soon finds life imitating his favorite action movies with bodyguards, spies, helicopters and chase scenes part of each day. Somewhere between sports rallies and homework assignments, Connor and Gisela must scheme to figure out the mystery that's taken over their lives - if they can only learn how to get along first.
"Connor Undercover" is also broadcast on Family Channel in Canada; Nickelodeon in Germany; ABC in Australia; Boomerang in Latin America; Gulli in France; VRT in Belgium; and is represented by Daro in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa.
Produced by Suzanne French, Vice President of Children's and Family for Shaftesbury, "Connor Undercover" was executive produced by Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie for Shaftesbury; and John May, Suzanne Bolch and Karen Lee Hall for Heroic Film Company.
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship Starz� and Encore� brands with approximately 17.4 million and 32 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its Starz, Encore and MoviePlex brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group.
Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator, producer and distributor of original content for television and multiple platforms, with programming available in more than 120 countries worldwide. Recent productions include "Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures" for HBO Canada based on the Giller Prize-winning book by Dr. Vincent Lam; two seasons of "The Listener" for CTV and Fox International Channels; and four seasons of "Murdoch Mysteries" for Citytv, UKTV and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment. Shaftesbury's slate of programming for kids and families includes the global hit series "Life with Derek" and the movie follow-up to the series, Vacation with Derek. Shaftesbury's newest series, "Good Dog," is a half-hour comedy created, written and directed by Ken Finkleman ("The Newsroom") that will premiere on HBO Canada on March 6, 2011. Shaftesbury's divisions include Shaftesbury Factual, which is focused on non-fiction storytelling across a broad spectrum of genres; Smokebomb Entertainment, the company's digital media division responsible for the development and production of original online series and companion web experiences for Shaftesbury's slate of properties; and Shaftesbury Sales Company, which manages international sales and distribution for the company's content. Visit Shaftesbury at www.shaftesbury.ca.