Movie Central acquires Canadian broadcast rights to William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet

(Banff, Alberta) – Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) announced today that it has partnered with William Shatner’s production company Melis Productions and Ballinran Productions Limited to produce The Captains (working title), a feature length documentary on the life of William Shatner.

Movie Central has also acquired the Canadian broadcast rights to the critically-acclaimed documentary William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet, a documentary about the legendary Tony® Award-winning choreographer Margo Sappington’s journey to create a ballet set to the music of William Shatner’s critically acclaimed album Has Been (produced and co-written with Ben Folds).

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the legendary William Shatner to produce a unique and never-before-seen view of his life,” said Erica Benson, Vice President, Programming, Movie Central. “Both The Captains and the acquisition of the Canadian broadcast rights for Gonzo Ballet are going to be a great fit for both our pay TV network Movie Central and specialty network Sundance Channel (Canada).”

THE CAPTAINS (working title)
A feature documentary following the life and career of William Shatner, The Captains will explore Shatner’s Montreal roots and his early career in Stratford, Ontario, as well as the extraordinary change in circumstances caused by the serendipitous casting for the role of Captain James T. Kirk. Produced by Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central in association with Melis Productions and Ballinran Productions Limited, The Captains is scheduled to start production in July for broadcast in winter 2011. The film will be directed by Shatner, who will also executive produce with David Zappone and Craig Thompson.

William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet studies the legendary Tony® Award-winning choreographer Margo Sappington’s quest to collaborate William Shatner’s critically acclaimed album Has Been (produced and co-written with Ben Folds), with poetry and dance from the ballet Common People. Featuring interviews with William Shatner, Ben Folds, Margo Sappington, Henry Rollins and the Milwaukee Ballet, this documentary will premiere on Corus Entertainment’s pay TV channel Movie Central this fall, followed by repeat airings on Corus’ Sundance Channel (Canada). William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet was made by Special Entertainment and Big Screen Entertainment Group in association with Shatner’s Melis Productions. Executive Produced by William Shatner, directed by Pat Buckley and Kevin Lane, and co-directed by Bobby Ciraldo and Andrew Swant. Music by Ben Folds.

Movie Central is a commercial-free premium pay TV service available in western Canada. Movie Central premieres the best in Hollywood, international and Canadian films across nine 24-hour movie channels, including dedicated high-definition feeds, a Movie Central On Demand service and exclusive HBO content on  HBO Canada. Movie Central is also the first window for Showtime content and home to cutting-edge Canadian series. A major force in the Canadian independent film and television production industry, Movie Central, through The Corus Made with Pay Fund, supports many critically-acclaimed and award-winning Canadian series and films. Visit the Movie Central website at

Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising services, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, CosmoTV, VIVA, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CFOX, CKOI, 98,5 FM, 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 (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at


For more information, please contact:

Lindsay Sutcliffe
Corus Entertainment