Girls get ready for GEM

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Australia gets another new channel as Nine makes a pitch for female viewers.

Another new channel is looming, this time from the Nine Network.

GEM is aimed at women over the age of 35, with a showcase of new dramas, classic comedies, movies and even sports coverage. The channel name is derived from its General Entertainment + Movies.

The top title on the channel is the new US drama The Big C in which Laura Linney plays a woman who tries to change her life after learning she has cancer. The Showtime series also stars Oliver Platt.

It will also air new episodes of Weeds, Southland, Miami Medical, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and lifestyle programs Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire, The Chopping Block and How Clean Is Your House?

A new season of feel-good show Random Acts of Kindness will also premiere.

There will also be replays of McLeod's Daughters, Sea Patrol and The Alice, and crime shows CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, The Closer and Cold Case. Friends will also be shown every week night.

Movie titles will include Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, 21 Grams and Being Julia.

The channel will also have some news and current affairs programming, designed to differ from those on Nine.

"GEM is what its title suggests -- a general entertainment and movie channel, carefully crafted and targeted like GO! before it, to appeal to a wide audience cross-section and complement Nine's existing successful brands," said Nine's CEO David Gyngell.

"We have a very significant investment in news and current affairs and some of that content will be repackaged to the style of GEM."

Interestingly, high-definition sports will also be seen including NRL and cricket, because GEM will be an HD-only channel.

This means Nine HD will no longer be available, including the network's flagship shows such as Underbelly and Rescue: Special Ops will no longer be seen in HD.

This follows TEN dropping TEN HD for the arrival of ONE, and 7mate replacing 7HD.

Networks must meet an obligation to play around 1000 hours of HD content -- but there is no ruling on what shows must be played.

GEM will launch officially on Sunday, September 26, on Channel 90 (available with a digital TV or set-top box), and could even be on air as early as Friday, September 24, in a network spoiling move to beat 7mate by a day.

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