Something old, something new in CTV fall lineup
By BILL BRIOUX
CTV, which has more suits than Moores, threw a whole rack of executives at the press early yesterday morning.
The big Canadian announcement was Degrassi: The Next Generation, a new series based on the old CBC Degrassi series.
Those coming-of-age shows were green-lit 20 years ago at CBC by Ivan Fecan, now CTV’s uber-suit.
CTV president Trina McQueen sees Degrassi as a (shudder) convergence project, “a great fit for the Bell/Globe Media family.”
A Web site that will allow viewers to register as “students” at a virtual Degrassi high school. There’s Degrassi.TV, a half-hour companion documentary series with stories of interest to “young Canadians.”
Missing, so far, was a Digital Degrassi channel to go with CTV’s seven other diginets launching this fall. (A full list will run tomorrow.)
CTV executives also glossed over the fact that THIS WAS THE WORST TV SERIES EVER MADE.
CTV news boss Kirk LaPointe told reporters that there would be a major news announcement this August, but hinted that Lloyd Robertson, CTV’s anchor for life (he’s logged 25 years at the network), would remain in place despite rumours to the contrary.
CTV also ordered another season of The Associates, Cold Squad, Mysterious Ways and Exhibit A, and announced nine new “event” movies, including Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story.
Among American fare, the network has grabbed C.S.I. producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Amazing Race, which has been described as Survivor on speed. The reality series will send 11 teams on a trek around the world for 30 to 40 days. It will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. next season, bumping The West Wing up to 8 p.m. and out of its simulcast slot, a fact that didn’t seem to worry CTV officials. “We pre-released it the first year and it worked,” said programming prez Susanne Boyce.
No one from CTV would give a final answer, but don’t hold your breath for any more of those Canadian Who Wants To Be A Millionaire specials hosted by Pamela Wallin. Despite attracting 4 million viewers last September, the project has fallen right off the CTV radar.
With four Millionaire episodes a week choking the CTV schedule last season, there just wasn’t any room for a repeat, says Boyce. Besides, CTV (and many viewers) have already moved on to The Weakest Link, The Mole (a new series starts this fall), as well as the upcoming Amazing Race. (More on: Degrassi: The Next Generation).