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Action is a Shaw Media television channel categorized as an English language Category B specialty channel specializing in films and television series targeting males. It's been named Showcase Action until 31st August 2009. Available in HD since 1st May 2015.
Action TV was a Canadian English language specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment which ran from 2001 to 2019 and classified as a discretionary service. Originally established as a spin-off of Showcase, the channel primarily aired action-adventure-oriented films and television series, though later channel drift due to changes with the action-adventure genre overall saw it carry reality television content with little relation to the intended format.
The channel was launched on September 7, 2001, and relaunched under its final name on August 31, 2009. The channel was then shut down and replaced by Adult Swim on April 1, 2019, at midnight Eastern Time.
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, a spin-off of another Alliance Atlantis television channel, Showcase.
On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners is 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 canceled 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 web series 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.
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.
The new channel held an unannounced soft launch at midnight ET on April 1, unexpectedly interrupting scheduled airings of The Visit and The World's End to air the anime parody Gēmusetto Machu Picchu (which was airing on Adult Swim in the U.S. as part of its annual April Fool's Day stunts), which was then followed by an episode of NTSF:SD:SUV::. The channel did not formally launch until 6:00 a.m. ET, with the aforementioned programs being co-branded with an alternating logo bug. The first program broadcast with the formal launch was Rick and Morty.