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THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION: KEVIN O'LEARY OFFERS EX-CONS A SECOND CHANCE IN NEW PRIME-TIME SERIES - REDEMPTION INC.

Premieres Monday, January 9th at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Television

REDEMPTION INC. is a new prime-time series in which a group of 10 ex-cons are given the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to set up their own business with a start-up investment of $100,000 from Dragon and multi-millionaire businessman, Kevin O'Leary. Kevin sees the business potential in offering these people a second chance; he recognizes that these ex-cons paid their debt to society. At the end of the series, one of them will earn both Kevin's support, and his money, to start a legitimate business. REDEMPTION INC. premieres on Monday, January 9 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Television.

"As a modern public broadcaster, we aim to provide insightful original Canadian programming that not only entertains, but promotes dialogue," said Julie Bristow, Executive Director, Studio and Unscripted Programming, English Services, CBC.  "REDEMPTION INC.  explores the notion of second chances in a unique format that we believe will engage audiences across the country."

"My entire fortune has been built on finding diamonds in the rough," said host Kevin O'Leary.  "These people have done their time and paid their debt to society - they're street-smart with big ideas for new business ventures.  And with me on their side, trust me, the sky's the limit!"

REDEMPTION INC. is hosted by O'Leary with Brian O'Dea as a key advisor on the show. O'Dea is a convicted drug smuggler who built a $100 million drug empire before serving a 10-year prison sentence.  He has since gone on to become a successful author, businessman and sought-after public speaker on a wide range of topics dealing with convict rehabilitation and re-integration into society.

Together, they will work with a group of 10 ex-cons, assessing their business ideas and putting them through a series of rigorous challenges designed to test, demonstrate and improve their natural abilities, and expose their character flaws, gradually moving them away from their illegal past and ever closer to a legal enterprise of their own. Each challenge is designed to reveal a particular skill set - from marketing and selling, to their ability to lead and work as a team.

It won't be easy, but this isn't charity - it's business.  Over the course of nine weeks, a single candidate will emerge who is judged most likely to succeed in running their own entrepreneurial business. They will receive an extraordinary jumpstart with investment money to launch their own dream business venture.

REDEMPTION INC. is an original format developed by Wide Eyed Entertainment (UK), CBC and Kevin O'Leary and produced by Proper Television. The Canadian edition is the first incarnation of the series format. REDEMPTION INC. premieres on Monday, January 9 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Television.


About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada is celebrating 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.


For further information, please contact:
Renee Weekes, Veritas Communications                                                   weekes@veritascanada.com  
(416) 640-4155
(416) 894-7209

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