Canada’s TV upfronts: What you need to know about the 2017-18 season

It’s upfront week in Canadian television, when the big three gather their big advertisers in Toronto (and sometimes elsewhere as well) and give big presentations about all the new hit U.S. network shows they’ve bought to fill their primetime schedule.

Of course, that’s not all that’s being announced this week. Besides the new reboots, spinoffs, remakes, military dramas and series with the word Kevin in their names, there are some big announcements about original programming as well. Two networks — CTV and City — announced new local newscasts across the country, which isn’t something we’ve seen in quite a while.

Here are how the announcements break down for each of the big three players and CBC.

Bell Media (CTV and CTV Two)

  • New local newscasts: CTV is adding one-hour 5pm newscasts to all local stations that don’t already have one. Few details beyond that so far.
  • More NFL games: Bell has signed a contract extension with the National Football League, presumably one that takes into account their recent regulatory issues with the Super Bowl. Bell is now the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the NFL, taking Thursday night games away from Sportsnet and TVA Sports. CTV will continue to broadcast 1pm and 4pm games on Sundays, but Thursday and Sunday night games will be simulcast on CTV Two and TSN. TSN also has Monday Night Football.
  • New acquired U.S. network series:
    • Me, Myself and I (CBS comedy)
    • The Gifted (Fox drama)
    • The Good Doctor (ABC drama)
    • The Gospel of Kevin (ABC dramedy)
    • Young Sheldon (CBS comedy)
    • Marvel’s Inhumans (ABC drama)
    • The Mayor (ABC comedy)
    • Ten Days in the Valley (ABC drama)
    • For the People (ABC drama, midseason)
    • Untitled Grey’s Anatomy spinoff (ABC drama, midseason)
    • Roseanne (ABC comedy, midseason)
    • The Crossing (ABC drama, midseason)
    • Deception (NBC drama, midseason)
  • Returning acquired series:
    • Ellen (weekdays), CTV
    • Live with Kelly and Ryan (weekdays), CTV
    • The View (weekdays), CTV
    • Dr. Oz (weekdays), CTV
    • Dr. Phil (weekdays), CTV
    • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central, Mondays to Thursdays), CTV/Comedy
    • The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS, weekdays), CTV
    • Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC, weekdays), CTV Two
    • Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC, weekdays), CTV Two
    • Conan (TBS, weekdays), Comedy
    • Lucifer (Fox), CTV
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS), CTV
    • The Flash (CW), CTV
    • This is Us (NBC), CTV
    • Criminal Minds (CBS), CTV
    • Law & Order: SVU (NBC), CTV
    • Designated Survivor (ABC), CTV
    • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), CTV
    • Gotham (Fox), CTV
    • How to Get Away with Murder (ABC), CTV
    • Blindspot (NBC), CTV
    • Blue Bloods (CBS), CTV
    • Shark Tank (ABC), CTV
    • The Voice (NBC), CTV Two
    • Legends of Tomorrow (CW), CTV Two
    • Arrow (CW), CTV Two
    • The Goldbergs (ABC), CTV Two
    • American Housewife (ABC), CTV Two
    • Once Upon a Time (ABC), CTV Two
    • The Exorcist (Fox), CTV Two
  • New original series:
    • The Detail (detective drama, 10 one-hour episodes), CTV
    • The Disappearance (mystery drama, 6 one-hour episodes), CTV
    • The Indian Detective (Russell Peters comedy, 4 one-hour episodes), CTV
    • The Launch (music competition, 6 one-hour episodes), CTV
    • Tragically Hip documentary (one episode), CTV
    • Corner Gas Animated (comedy, 13 half-hour episodes), Comedy
    • Last Stop Garage (auto repair shop reality, 12 half-hour episodes), Discovery
    • Rocky Mountain Railroad (railroad reality, 8 one-hour episodes), Discovery
    • Hellfire Heroes (firefighter reality, 10 one-hour episodes), Discovery
    • Saturn: Inside the Rings (documentary), Discovery
    • Drain Alcatraz (documentary), Discovery
    • Shemar Moore’s Home Invasion (home design), Bravo/CTV
    • Minor Renovations (home reno, 5 half-hour episodes), Bravo
    • Flour Power (baking, 13 half-hour episodes), Gusto
    • Fresh Market Dinners (food, 10 half-hour episodes), Gusto
    • Watts on the Grill (food, 13 half-hour episodes), Gusto
    • Sides*XL (weekly one-hour series), Much
  • Returning original series (many of these air this summer):
    • Your Morning (weekdays), CTV
    • The Marilyn Denis Show (weekdays), CTV
    • The Social (weekdays), CTV
    • eTalk (weekdays), CTV
    • W5 (52nd season), CTV
    • Question Period (weekly), CTV
    • 19-2 (fourth and final season), Bravo/CTV
    • Cardinal (second season), CTV
    • Canada’s Worst Driver (13th season), Discovery
    • Frontier (second season), Discovery
    • Daily Planet (23rd season), Discovery
    • Heavy Rescue: 401 (second season), Discovery
    • Highway Thru Hell (sixth season), Discovery
    • How It’s Made (30th season), Discovery
    • Jade Fever (fourth season), Discovery
    • Mayday (17th and 18th seasons), Discovery
    • Mighty Planes (fourth season), Discovery
    • Tougher Than It Looks (second season), Discovery)
    • Innerspace (weekdays), Space
    • Killjoys (third season), Space
    • Wynonna Earp (second season), Space
    • Orphan Black (fifth and final season), Space
    • Dark Matter (third season), Space
    • The Beaverton (second season), Comedy
    • Just For Laughs: All Access (fifth season), Comedy
    • One World Kitchen (third season), Gusto
    • Letterkenny (third season), Crave TV
  • Events:
    • iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards, Much/CTV
    • We Day, Much/CTV
    • Academy Awards (ABC)
    • Super Bowl LII (NBC)
    • Golden Globe Awards (NBC)
    • Primetime Emmy Awards (CBS)
    • American Music Awards (ABC)
    • FIFA World Cup
    • Billboard Music Awards (ABC)
    • Invictus Games (opening and closing ceremonies)
  • Not returning after this summer (list via TV eh?):
    • Saving Hope (CTV)
    • 19-2 (Bravo)
    • Orphan Black (Space)
    • Sensitive Skin (HBO Canada)
    • What Would Sal Do? (Crave TV)
    • Aftermath (Space)

Corus Entertainment (Global)

Besides The Simpsons, Global’s programming is entirely sourced from CBS and NBC. Unlike CTV and City, there are no announcements about local news, and nothing new in daytime.

  • Star Wars! The only thing besides the usual new series that was announced, as far as I can see, was a deal that gives Corus networks access to the Star Wars movies, from the originals to the still-to-be-released ones (though the first Star Wars movie is licensed from Fox instead of Disney). Corus plans to air them on one or more of its channels starting in the fall.
  • New acquired U.S. network series:
    • 9JKL (CBS comedy)
    • The Brave (NBC military drama)
    • Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC drama)
    • SEAL Team (CBS military drama)
    • Will & Grace (NBC comedy)
    • Great News (NBC comedy)
    • Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS drama)
    • S.W.A.T. (CBS drama)
    • Instinct (CBS drama)
    • Superior Donuts (CBS drama)
  • Returning U.S. network series (fall only):
    • Entertainment Tonight (weekdays, syndicated)
    • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (weekdays, CBS)
    • Kevin Can Wait (CBS)
    • NCIS (CBS)
    • NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)
    • NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
    • Bull (CBS)
    • Survivor (CBS)
    • Chicago PD (NBC)
    • Superstore (NBC)
    • The Good Place (NBC)
    • Chicago Fire (NBC)
    • MacGyver (CBS)
    • Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
    • Taken (NBC)
    • The Simpsons (Fox)
    • Madam Secretary (CBS)
  • New original series:
    • Bud Dynasty, History
    • Hunting Nazi Treasure, History
    • Date My Dad, W Network
    • The Baker Sisters, Food Network
    • Bake It Possible!, Food Network
    • Sarah Off the Grid, HGTV Canada
    • Worst to First, HGTV Canada
    • Buyers Bootcamp, HGTV Canada
    • ReBoot: The Guardian Code, YTV
  • Returning original series:
    • ET Canada (weekdays), Global
    • Border Security, Global
    • Mary Kills People (six episodes), Global
    • Private Eyes (nine episodes), Global
    • Travelers (second season), Showcase
    • Vikings (fifth season), History
    • The Bachelor Canada, W Network
    • Good Witch (fourth season), W Network
    • Chesapeake Shores, W Network
    • Top Chef Canada (sixth season), Food Network
    • Bake with Anna Olson, Food Network
    • Inspired by Anna Olson, Food Network
    • Property Brothers, HGTV Canada
    • Masters of Flip, HGTV Canada
    • Bryan Inc., HGTV Canada
  • Not returning (list via TV eh?):
    • Chopped Canada (Food Network)
    • Big Brother Canada (Global)
    • Real Housewives of Toronto (Slice)

For more details on specialty channel programming, check Corus’s press release.

Rogers Media (City)

  • New local newscasts: Rogers is taking advantage of money its cable division is taking out of its community channels to create 6pm and 11pm local newscasts in five markets including Montreal. This is in addition to existing Breakfast Television morning shows.
  • Lots of Mom: City is still going with strip comedy reruns at 10pm, except for Mondays when it has CBS’s Scorpion and Sundays when it runs shows from Viceland. But instead of Modern Family, it’s the CBS comedy Mom.
  • Nothing in late night: With Global taking Colbert’s Late Show and CTV and CTV Two taking almost everything else, City leaves itself without anything in Late Night. It also has nothing interesting for the 7pm hour, and there’s still a hole at 8pm on Sundays.
  • New acquired U.S. network series:
    • The Orville (Fox comedy)
    • Ghosted (Fox comedy)
    • L.A. to Vegas (Fox comedy)
    • The Resident (Fox drama)
  • U.S. network series new to City:
    • Speechless (ABC comedy)
    • Dancing with the Stars (ABC reality) from CTV Two
    • The Blacklist (NBC drama) from Global
  • Returning acquired U.S. network series:
    • Scorpion (CBS drama)
    • Lethal Weapon (Fox drama)
    • The Mick (Fox comedy)
    • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox comedy)
    • Modern Family (ABC comedy)
    • Black-ish (ABC comedy)
    • Hell’s Kitchen (Fox reality)
    • The Middle (ABC comedy)
    • Family Guy (Fox comedy)
    • Last Man on Earth (Fox comedy)
    • Life in Pieces (CBS drama)
    • Mom (CBS comedy)
  • New original series:
    • Bad Blood (six-episode one-hour drama)
    • Versailles (drama)
    • Fubar: The Age of the Computer (comedy)
  • Returning original series:
    • Nirvanna the Band the Show (comedy)
    • Hockey Night in Canada
    • Cityline (weekdays)
  • Events:
    • A Christmas Story (Fox live musical)
    • Rent (Fox live musical)
    • Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (ABC)
    • Grammy Awards (CBS)
    • Country Music Awards (CBS)

 CBC

  • More British shows: The network that once prided itself on having an entirely Canadian primetime is straying a bit from that this year, with British series on Wednesdays. The Great British Baking Show will be broadcast as a lead-in to the Canadian spinoff, and the 9pm hour has two British shows one after the other. Plus there’s Coronation Street and the Sunday family movie.
  • New acquired British series:
  • Returning acquired British series:
    • Coronation Street (ITV soap opera)
  • New original series:
  • Returning original series:
    • Baroness von Sketch Show (second season)
    • Dragon’s Den (12th season)
    • Exhibitionists (third season)
    • The Fifth Estate (43rd season)
    • Firsthand (third season)
    • The Goods (daytime, second season)
    • Ha!ifax Comedy Fest (22nd season)
    • Heartland (11th season)
    • Hello Goodbye (third season)
    • Interrupt this Program (third season)
    • Just for Laughs: Galas
    • Kim’s Convenience (second season)
    • Marketplace (45th season)
    • Mr. D (seventh season)
    • Murdoch Mysteries (11th season)
    • The Nature of Things (57th season)
    • Rick Mercer Report (15th season)
    • Schitt’s Creek (fourth season)
    • Still Standing (third season)
    • This Hour has 22 Minutes (25th season)
    • When Calls the Heart (third season)
    • Winnipeg Comedy Festival (16th season)
    • Workin’ Moms (second season)
  • Events:
    • 2018 Winter Olympics
    • Juno Awards
    • Canadian Screen Awards
    • Canadian Country Music Association Awards
    • Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards
    • Polaris Music Prize
    • Giller Prize
  • Not returning (list via TV eh?):
    • This Life
    • X Company
    • Pure
    • Bellevue
    • Shoot the Messenger
    • Four in the Morning
    • Michael: Every Day
    • The Romeo Section
    • Crash Gallery

Legend for schedules above:

  • Red is CanCon, with local programming in bold
  • Yellow: ABC
  • Orange: CBS
  • Blue: Fox
  • Green: NBC
  • Purple: CW
  • Turquoise: Comedy Central
  • Grey: Syndicated/misc

2 thoughts on “Canada’s TV upfronts: What you need to know about the 2017-18 season

  1. Robert Haslewood

    I am a subscriber to Videotron for my TV. Until recently if I switched channels, I would get the name of the show that I was watching. Now I receive only the message ” No Data Available”. Maybe it is time top switch providers.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Now I receive only the message ” No Data Available”. Maybe it is time top switch providers.

      Or it’s time to reset your set-top box or call technical support. Videotron is still providing electronic program guides.

      Reply

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