Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Canwest Buckles Up With "Knight Rider"...

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Canwest Broadcasting has the jump on Canada's other commercial broadcasters after signing a deal with NBC for a slate of US TV series ahead of the LA Screenings.

It's the first time a Hollywood TV studio has struck a deal for its programs before the annual screenings, which traditionally signal the start of the buying season.

Canwest, operator of the Global and E! networks, has bought four new prime-time series and renewed its contract on NBC shows it already carries.

Among the new offerings:

Knight Rider, the reprise of the 1980s series about a crime-fighting car.

My Own Worst Enemy, about a suburban dad who lives a secret life as a spy, starring Christian Slater.

Kath and Kim a mother-and-daughter comedy starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair.

An unnamed spinoff of The Office, which will begin mid-season.

Canwest has renewed hit shows such as House and Heroes.

NBC vice-president Ron Suter said it agreed to an early sale in a strategy to "get out in front with advertisers", with NBC the first of the US networks to unveil its fall lineup.

Barbara Williams, executive vice-president of content at Canwest, said the deal includes programming for its 21 specialty cable channels.

"As the television landscape continues to evolve, Canwest is proud to be in business with one of the industry's most innovative companies," she said.