Thursday, May 31, 2012
All The News About CTV's Fall Schedule
*** Lloyd Robertson tells me he's just about finished writing his 300 page biography due out for Christmas release. We go way back to the early 1970s and I asked him if he included the anecdote of the day during the CBC press tour in 1977 when CBC news head Knowlton Nash announced "I've just lost my Mr. Clean"--it was the day Robertson defected to CTV.
*** Brian Williams says he'll rise above the criticism leveled at him in Richard Stursberg's recent memoir of life at the CBC. Always the classy guy, Williams is concentrating on getting the act together for his coverage of the Summer Olympics in London which he says could be one of the biggest ever ratings wise.
*** Executive producer and co-creator of the Degrassi franchise, Linda Schuyler reports that sometime in the new season Degrassi will hit over 400 episodes. After all the perennial winner has been around for decades. "What still irks me is my series Riverdale which could still be going on CBC but we needed more money. It should have run daily in the 7:30 p.m. slot --where Coronation St. is now and it could have been just as big a hit."
As far as CTV's fall goes it's business as usual. Now firmly grouped under the Bell Media banner, there are actually two networks CTV and the "B" franchise, CTV Two.
CTV program president Phil King can deservedly crow that "We just simply did not have a lot of holes in our schedule that we had to fill."
In fact CTV has but one new American series The Mob Doctor. Also snapped up are three new half hour comedies Anger Management with Charlie Sheen, The New Normal with Ellen Barkin and the Neighbors with Jamie Gertz.
CTV Two has three new U.S. dramas: Nahshville best described as a country variant on Smash, Emily Owens. M.D. starring Mamie Gumer (Meryl Streep's gifted daughter) and a new version of The Green Arrow retitled Arrow featuring Torontonian Stephen Amell.
Of the 18 hours of ptime time CTV has 16 1/2 hours simulcast with the American networks meaning CTV ciould be in some sort of identity crisis.
Canadian shows include the valuable franchise W5 with Robertson, the fifth and final season of Flashpoint.
CTV seems to have ditched an earlier promise to rebuild its Canadian sitcom traditions after the cancellation of both hiccups and Dan For Mayor.
However CTV will have a new Canadian made medical drama Saving Hope which debuts next week and looks promising.
CTV Two will show new episodes of the Toronto made The Listener Saturday nights this fall.
The decision to close down Flashpoint after five seasons and 75 episodes was made by executive producer Bill Mustos who said the show will end on a high note with a two hour finale. Flashpoint was one of the few Canadian series (Due South) is another) to have broken onto American TV network schedules --CBS ran it on Fridays for several years.
"Usually producers do not have the luxury of deciding when a series ends," Mustos said --CTV had requested a sixth season. Co-star Hugh Dillon said he hoped to work again with Enrico Colantoni who has become his best bud.
Jordana Spiro of the new series The Mob Doctor said she's actually seen mobster John Giotti walking around Manhattan on occasion--it's the sole new U.S. series to get on the CTV main schedule.
Hayden Panettiere who stars as the bitchy newcomer in Nashville said growing up in the business she had seen people like the one she's playing and understands where that meanness can come from. Co-starring is Connie Britton as a country legend battling the years and the competition from Panettiere's character.
Also present at the launch were blonde and buxom Megan Hilty from Smash which returns to CTV midseason and Shemar Moore from the ratings evergreen Criminal Minds.
And to counter suggestions from rival networks that CTV is geared for the over 55 crowd CTV's King showed a graph indicating it remains far ahead as the network of choice for viewers 18 to 34.