Alliance Atlantis unveils fall sked


TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications on Thursday unveiled a fall schedule toplined by U.S. and British programming, in addition to homegrown fare.

HGTV Canada, one of 13 cable channels run by Alliance Atlantis, in October will launch "Colin & Justin's Home Heist," a homegrown renovation series hosted by Britain's Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan ("How Not to Decorate") of BBC fame.

"Colin and Justin are considered stars in the U.K., so it's a real coup to bring them over here on a two-year deal," HGTV vp content Anna Gecan said of the series, which sees the Scottish duo renovate hideous Canadian homes.

Beginning Sept. 2, Showcase, AAC's drama cable channel, will air "The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle," a black comedy from BBC2 and BBC America starring Jennifer Saunders ("Absolutely Fabulous").

Returning series on Showcase include such U.S. cable dramas as"Rescue Me," "Weeds" and "The L Word."

Also from Alliance Atlantis, Food Network Canada will host the North American premiere of "Jamie's Chef" on Oct. 21. The show, starring British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, follows disadvantaged youngsters who earlier graduated from Fifteen, the London restaurant he helped found.

Also in the Alliance Atlantis stable is BBC Canada, which will debut the British makeover series "Trinny & Susannah Undress," while the BBC Kids channel will premiere such new BBC series as "My Hero," "The Raven" and "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps."

The CAN$2.3 billion ($1.99 billion) takeover of Alliance Atlantis by CanWest Global and Goldman Sachs is expected to be completed by early August.