ABC Spark

Corus Entertainment announced today that its new television service, ABC Spark, will launch across Canada on Monday, March 26, 2012.

ABC Spark, based on the successful U.S. brand ABC Family, will launch with breakout series including The Secret Life of the America Teenager (starring Golden Globe nominee Shailene Woodley and Molly Ringwald), Switched at Birth (ensemble cast including Katie LeClerc, Vanessa Marano, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett and Constance Marie), Melissa & Joey (starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence) and Make It or Break It (starring Candace Cameron Bure) as well as brand new series Jane By Design (starring Andie MacDowell and newcomer Erica Dasher).

“We are very excited to bring some of ABC Family’s most compelling, critically acclaimed and hugely popular original series to Canada with the launch of ABC Spark,” said Susan Schaefer, Vice President, Head of Networks and Marketing, Corus Entertainment. “Canadian viewers have been waiting for these series and they will not be disappointed. ABC Family has found tremendous success with a programming strategy committed to high-calibre productions featuring powerful storylines, memorable characters and a combination of new and established talent. We are confident that these shows will resonate with audiences across the country.”

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. Switched at Birth will air every Monday night at 9 p.m . on YTV starting January 16; W Network will also air the series every Saturday at 12 p.m. starting January 21 . Melissa & Joey will air Monday to Friday at 8:30 p.m. starting January 16 on CMT.

Additional information, including programming schedule and channel details, will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit www.abcspark.ca for updates.

ABC Spark will be available in Canada based on a license agreement with 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.

Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) and Corus Entertainment today announced that they have entered into an expansive licensing agreement to launch ABC Spark, a dedicated millennial-focused channel and multi-platform offering, in Canada in Spring 2012.

The channel will build on the foundation that DATG has created with ABC Family, its incredibly successful millennial brand in the U.S. This deal marks the first time in history that these two companies have entered into this type of licensing agreement for a 24-hour channel.

ABC Spark will be a destination for Canada’s young adult millennial viewer, telling stories that matter most to this audience while utilizing the technology millennials rely on to connect to their world in a corresponding multi-platform offering. The agreement was brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television with Corus Entertainment.

“We are very pleased to work with Corus in bringing ABC Family’s well-known, popular programming into the Canadian marketplace,” commented Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

“We are thrilled to partner with Disney/ABC Television Group and to announce the launch of ABC Spark in Canada, a network with values and attributes that align with our own,” said Doug Murphy, President, Corus Television. “Bridging the gap between our kids and women’s networks, ABC Spark will be a national service with compelling programming directed at the fast-expanding millennial generation.”

ABC Family is a top performing destination for millennials in the U.S., delivering seven consecutive years of stellar growth. ABC Family has also become an emerging global brand though the successful sale of many of its key programs to more than 200 territories around the world. Its newest series, “Switched at Birth” launched as the network’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. Other groundbreaking original programming included in the deal are “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Make It or Break It,” “Melissa & Joey” and upcoming series “Jane By Design.”

Michael Riley, president, ABC Family, added, “As the leader in millennial programming, we’re thrilled to join Corus in bringing our successful series and resonant millennial brand to Canada. We’re confident that Canadian viewers will respond passionately to shows like “Switched at Birth,” “The Lying Game” and “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” in this new branded environment, just as viewers have in the U.S. and around the world.”