Thursday, June 6, 2013

CTV's Fall schedule: Bigger And Better?

Here's what I learned after a day of interviews over at CTV's Toronto headquarters about the network's fall schedule:
1. Bethenny Frankel whose new talk show Bethenny debuts on CTV this fall says "There'll be no topics off limits on my show. I think the topic vibrator virgins which we did on the pilot might have been too much in your face. But I guess I'll always be a reality star."
2. Tate Donovan says his new drama series Hostages will be different "because we'll only do 15 hours a year. I don't want to do 22 episodes for six years of a conventional series. The quality suffers. It's based on an Israeli concept --the Israeli version will actually be shooting at the same time."
3. Kevin Newman explains his new position as anchor at CTV's Question Period this way: "Tom Clark and I simply switched networks. I went from Global top CTV and he left CTV for Global. It's a rebranding problem I'm guessing. But we're both happier."
4. Meghan Ory is trying to explain her new U.S. series Intelligence as "a guy (Josh Holloway from Lost) is a U.S. cyber Commander with a microchip implanted in his brain. You understand that?  And this I promise you --his shirt will come off."
5. Canadian Shawn Ashmore is chatting about his breakout hit The Following: "They won't tell me what's happening next. I really don't want to knopw. Working with Kevin Bacon is the tops. But we were told at the top our characters won't last forever. I'm not sure what will happen in the new season. No one can grow attached to their character here."
5.  Troy Gentile, Sean Giambrone and Hayley Orrantia, kids on the new U.S. series The Goldbergs talk comedy: "I like that old show with Andy Griffith!" "No man,  Malcolm In The Middle is great!"  "All In The Family, is that the title, it's great!" "Our outfits (the show is set in the Eighties) are hilarious!" "My grandma says there actually was another show called The Goldbergs, am I right?"
CTV's fall schedule unveiled to a capacity crowd at the Sony Center offers few surprises.
Biggest news was CTV's purchase of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. to anchor its weak Tuesday night line up.
CTV has also nabbed Person Of Interest away from City at 10 p.m. and will hammock two new half hour comedies The Goldbergs at 9 and Trophy Wife at 9:30.
According to CTV President Phil King the network will shift The Voice to CTV Two as it fights the hefty ratings successes of NCIS and NCIS: L.A. over at rival Global TV.
CTV Two also gets the rapidly sinking The X Factor plus Dancing With The Stars and Shark Tank, and Undercover Boss turning it into a reality weblet.
The main network holds firm on Thursday nights with top rated The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men plus venerable Grey's Anatomy.
Other old U.S. series still holding firm in the ratings include Criminal Minds, CSI, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, The Amazing Race and The Mentalist.
With the cancellation of daytime talk show Anderson Cooper CTV will launch a daily domestic talk fest featuring Melissa Grelo, Lainey Lui, Cynthia Loyst and Traci Melchor which will go out live a la The View.
The View will be done before an audience like CTV's other local success The Marilyn Dennis Show.
If there's precious little Canadian content on CTV and CTV Two in the fall  Canadian productions will shine on the specialty networks. Such local series as Saving Hope (back June 25), The Listener, Orphan Black, Motive, Degrassi  have all attracted larege audiences.
CTV's 30 specialty channels give it  enviable dominance of the market.
And CTV trotted out so many stars on the Sony stage one could only sit back and wonder.
Included in the walk around were Eric Dane, Snooki and even Shemar Moore who obliged by rolling up his T shirt as females in the audience collectively swooned.
I also met up with veteran producer John Brunton responsible for CTV's upcoming summer entry Amazing Race Canada starring personable Canadian Olympics star Jon Montgomery whose on air presence makes him a TV star of the future.

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