ABC Spark, a new English Language Category B specialty channel will launch in Canada on Monday, March 26th. The station is a Canadianized version of the successful ABC Family specialty channel broadcast in the United States.
ABC Family, which is owned by a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group, offers Americans contemporary and family programming, including off-network syndicated reruns and original series, feature films, made-for-TV original movies and some religious programming.
In Canada, ABC Spark will be owned and distributed by Corus Entertainment. Corus says the new 24 hour channel will feature many of the programs found in the U.S. and will have the same values, look, tone, essence and feel of ABC Family.
The use of the name "ABC Spark", as opposed to "ABC Family", is presumably to avoid any confusion with the existing Astral-owned Canadian cable channel Family, which draws most of its programming lineup from ABC Family's sister cable network Disney Channel.
Spark will launch with series including The Secret Life of the America Teenager (starring 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 a brand new series Jane By Design (starring Andie MacDowell and newcomer Erica Dasher).
To promote the new network, Corus will air nested blocks of the channel's programming on YTV, W Network and CMT (Canada) beginning January 16th. 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.
Discuss the new station in Digital Home's Canadian Television Industry forum .