Canada’s English-language private TV broadcasters announced their fall schedules this week. In case you couldn’t keep up with all the press releases, here’s what was sent out.
- Bell is rebranding four of its specialty channels to put CTV in their names. Space, Bravo, Comedy, and Gusto will become CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, CTV Comedy, and CTV Life, respectively, as they form part of some superportal of CTV video content, along with two new ad-supported video-on-demand services called CTV Movies and CTV Vault. Space and Bravo are among Bell’s most popular specialty channels. And while some channels like MTV, HBO and Discovery are given the same branding as their U.S. counterparts for simplicity, Space was its own brand, and Bravo has departed so much from the U.S. version of the channel that there’s not much point in keeping that brand anymore. Gusto was a food channel acquired more recently from an independent, and will now presumably expand to other types of lifestyle programming.
- TSN and RDS are following Sportsnet in offering a $25-a-month over-the-top subscription service to make its channels available to people who don’t have or want a cable TV subscription. Called TSN Direct and RDS Direct, it looks like they can’t be combined at present (which kinda sucks, surely they could come up with some deal for people who buy both). Both launched on Friday. TSN Direct gives you the five TSN channels plus some special TSN GO feeds. RDS Direct offers RDS, RDS2 and RDS Info. Combined with Sportsnet NOW, you can get most sporting events for $50 a month. But how many Canadian cord-cutters are willing to pay that price?
- Bell Media’s original Canadian programming plan for next season includes a new series: Jann, a comedy starring Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself.
- The fall schedules for CTV and CTV2 don’t have much new. (Why mess with a working formula?) CTV picks up a handful of new shows (Rookie, starring Nathan Fillion, is the headline acquisition) but is mostly the same as last season, including stripping Big Bang Theory reruns at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays. CTV2 doesn’t have much besides The Voice and NFL football. It strips The Goldbergs and Seinfeld at 10 p.m.
- Specialty schedules include CW series Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, which were formerly on CTV2. It’s unclear what channels these will be going to, but probably either the channels that used to be Bravo or Space. Bell has also picked up Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh, which will take up the Handmaid’s Tale’s spot on Bravo.
- Crave TV has a new original series, New Eden, a half-hour mockumentary series created by Evany Rosen and Kayla Lorette.
- CTV has picked up the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards broadcast, which was previously on Global.
- TSN is beefing up its Thursday Night Football CFL broadcasts with, among other things, musical guests.
- CTV will air the original series Carter in July after it’s done on Bravo, which Bell is calling a promotion rather than just the usual conventional-after-specialty windowing.
- Bell Media commissioned TV writer Mike Harris to talk to CTV’s programming boss Mike Cosentino to discuss his acquisitions of U.S. series.
- Global’s fall schedule has seven new series, including Dick Wolf’s FBI and hospital drama New Amsterdam.
- On Corus’s specialty channels, W Network has new series including the rebooted Charmed, Showcase has the new teen soap Legacies, ABC Spark has two new series, Food Network has two new series including Baked in Vermont, HGTV Canada has three new series, Slice has three new series, History has In Search Of hosted by Zachary Quito, and all of its kids channels have at least one new series coming.
- Canadian programs coming back next year include new seasons of Mary Kills People, Big Brother Canada, ET Canada, Private Eyes and Border Security. On specialty, new series include Fire Masters and Ultimate Food Bucket List (working title) on Food Network, Rust Valley Restorers, Big Rig Warriors and History Erased on History, and Stitched on Slice, plus lots of children’s programming.
- Hugh Acheson, Lynn Crawford and Susur Lee are the first iron chefs on the inaugural season of Iron Chef Canada on Food Network.
- Citytv’s fall schedule includes 11 new shows (including the rebooted Murphy Brown) and fills the 10pm hour with new programs only on Mondays and Wednesdays. (It strips reruns of Mom on other nights.) Notable here is that City has picked up The Simpsons from Global, after previously snapping the rest of the Fox Sunday night animation/comedy lineup.
- Rogers is launching a new over-the-top app Citytv NOW, for which series will be available immediately as they air on City, as well as a new FX NOW app.
- Sportsnet is bringing back Ice Surfing, its special Twitter broadcast that checks in on live NHL games and also includes a bunch of couch discussions that will probably interest people less.
- CHCH Hamilton’s fall schedule is movie-heavy, with a few U.S. primetime series. During the day, after the local morning show, it’s filled with classic series like I Love Lucy, Mork & Mindy and Mission Impossible. The station also had a news story about the announcement.
- CHEK in Victoria has a similar schedule, with 60 Minutes, 48 Hours and Speechless, plus Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy at 7pm and local news at 10pm weekdays. It also has Fox’s Last Man Standing.
- YesTV has its (partial) fall schedule out, which consists mainly of syndicated shows and reruns. You can see grids for Ontario and Alberta.
- CHCH, CHEK, YesTV and Newfoundland’s NTV all present together as IndieNet. Cartt.ca reports on their upfront presentation. (NTV is an affiliate of both Global and CTV and airs programs from both.)
- OUTtv is creating an original one-hour drama series, called Mezcalero, about “a transgender Mexican-Canadian private detective with a penchant for mezcal.”
U.S. network shows in the fall not finding a home on a Canadian network:
- ABC: Child Support, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Saturday Night Football
- CBS: (None)
- Fox: Star, Empire (CHCH only), Last Man Standing (CHEK only)
- NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Dateline
Legend for network schedules
- Red is Canadian
- Blue is Fox
- Yellow is CBS
- Orange is ABC
- Green is NBC
- Grey is reruns/syndication
- New shows in bold
- Shows that were on other networks before in italics
- (b): Canadian network broadcast before U.S. network
- (a): Canadian network broadcast after U.S. network
- (db): Canadian network broadcast on a day before the U.S. network
- (da): Canadian network broadcast on a day after the U.S. network