• New Canadian original series will premiere on The Movie Network and Movie Central on Friday, July 23 at 9 p.m. ET / PT
  • A stellar ensemble cast includes Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Redmayne, Gordon Pinsent and Alison Pill

(Toronto, Canada) – On Friday, July 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Astral Media’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) debut The Pillars of the Earth, day and date with the U.S. premiere on STARZ. A Canadian original miniseries based on the bestselling novel by Ken Follett, this epic, eight-hour television event tells the fictional tale of the rising of a magnificent cathedral in Kingsbridge, England.

“I am extremely happy with the series The Pillars of the Earth – script, direction, cast are everything I dreamed it could be. I’m delighted that it will be shown in Canada on The Movie Network and Movie Central,” says world-renowned author Ken Follett.

An official German/Canadian co-production, the US$ 40 million series is produced by Tandem Communications (The Company) and Muse Entertainment (Durham County) in association with Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Films (The Good Wife), Astral Media’s The Movie Network, Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central and CBC Television.

Set against a backdrop of war, religious conflict, power struggles and human drama, Follett weaves love-stories and clashes between heroes and villains to masterfully depict the political turmoil of 12th century England. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Rola Bauer, Michael Prupas, David W. Zucker, Tim Halkin, Jonas Bauer and David Rosemont and directed by three-time DGA Award-winning Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes, Into the West), The Pillars of the Earth features Hollywood legends and breakout performances by up-and-coming stars.

The stellar ensemble cast includes Ian McShane (Deadwood, Sexy Beast), Donald Sutherland (Human Trafficking, Dirty Sexy Money), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist, A Knight’s Tale), Matthew Macfadyen (Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, Pride and Prejudice), Hayley Atwell (up-coming Marvel Comics’ Captain America, The Duchess), Eddie Redmayne (The Yellow Handkerchief, The Good Shepherd), Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her) and Alison Pill (Milk). The miniseries was shot on location in Budapest and Austria using Mid-Atlantic Films.

“After an immediate connection with producers over the rich, creative material in The Pillars of the Earth novel, we knew we had to invest in this project and help bring Ken Follett’s epic storytelling to life,” said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. “We are proud to see this ambitious, first-rate production take shape and are excited to share it with Canadians.”

“Working with a first-rate international team and Ken Follett’s epic tale of faith, desire, carnage and betrayal, we are extremely pleased to offer our viewers this remarkable production,” said Erica Benson, Vice President, Programming, Movie Central. “With an illustrious cast including some of Canada’s most celebrated talents, the miniseries will offer a stunning complement to Follett’s 12th century saga.”

Canadian Broadcast Details (all times ET/PT)

  • The first two episodes of The Pillars of the Earth will debut as a two-hour special on Friday, July 23 at 9 p.m., day-and-date with Starz in the U.S.
  • On Monday, July 26, the two-hour special will repeat at 9 p.m., the miniseries’ regular timeslot
  • For the following four weeks, new one-hour episodes will premiere Monday nights at 9 p.m.
  • The miniseries will conclude with a special two-hour finale on Monday, August 30 at 9 p.m.

The Pillars of the Earth is a high-definition production that will be simulcast on The Movie Network and Movie Central’s High Definition channels. All new episodes will be available on demand and on The Movie Network OnLine following the network premieres.

The Movie Network is a pay television service available in eastern Canada. With premiereaccess to Hollywood hit movies, new and exclusive HBO content, critically-acclaimed Showtime series and first-rate Canadian programming, this pay-television service presents Canadians with some of the best television entertainment available. The Movie Network service includes five 24-hour multiplex channels – M, HBO Canada, MExcess, MFun! and MFest – which deliver diverse and entertaining programs in an uncut and commercial-free television environment. The Movie Network also offers The Movie Network HD, HBO Canada HD, MExcess HD and MFun! HD, four dedicated high-definition channels providing hundreds of titles in HD; The Movie Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in select areas across eastern Canada; and, TMN OnLine an Internet-based content streaming service available to BellTV subscribers. For more information, please visit

The Movie Network is an Astral Media Television Network. Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and iMedia. Astral Media’s solid and dynamic presence in the country’s major markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted media for all its audiences.

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


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For more information, please contact:

The Movie Network (Eastern Canada)
Nicolle Balen
(416) 956-8638

Movie Central (Western Canada)
Owen McCorquodale
(416) 530-2249