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Action (formerly known as Showcase Action) was a Canadian English language specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment. The channel was established as a spin-off of Showcase focused on action genre films and television series. Following a rebrand in 2009, the channel would eventually shift to general-interest, male-targeting programming.
The channel was first launched on September 7, 2001; it was rebranded on April 1, 2019, at midnight ET as Adult Swim.
In November 2000, Showcase Television Inc., a division of Alliance Atlantis, was granted approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a television channel called Action Television, described as “a national English-language Category 2 specialty television service devoted to action movies and series primarily driven by a fast-paced fictional plot featuring car chases, explosions, special effects, or martial arts.” The channel launched on September 7, 2001 as Showcase Action,with the slogan, Get some. a spin-off of another Alliance Atlantis television channel, Showcase.
On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media, acquired control of Showcase Action through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis’ broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007. The channel was renamed Action on August 31, 2009.On October 27, 2010, ownership changed once again as Shaw Communications gained control of Action as a result of its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs’ interest in CW Media.
In 2011, Action would begin airing two original programs, The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Funtime Hour and Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will, both of which were cancelled after one season. By this time, Action’s programming would begin to diverge and incorporate reality shows acquired from U.S. network TruTV. Another original series, But I’m Chris Jericho, starring Canadian-born professional wrestler Chris Jericho, premiered as a webseries in 2013 on Action’s YouTube channel. But I’m Chris Jericho would be eventually picked up by CBC Television for their online vertical, CBC Comedy, and receive a second season.
Showcase Action logo used until 2009
On May 1, 2015, an HD feed of Action was launched. During this time, the channel was made available as a free preview.On April 1, 2016, Shaw Media was sold to Corus Entertainment.
On March 4, 2019, it was announced that Action would be replaced by a Canadian version of Adult Swim on April 1, 2019, marking the first time that the brand has been used for a 24-hour channel. The channel launched with a two-month free preview on linear television, and an on-demand free preview to the end of 2019. As a result of the relaunch, both Cartoon Network and Teletoon ended their respective adult programming blocks and shifted full-time into age-appropriate, family-oriented programming, while Télétoon carried on with its Télétoon la nuit block. The Canadian Adult Swim block was discontinued on March 3, 2019, while Teletoon at Night did so on April 1, 2019.
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