Canuck b'casters buying at L.A. Screenings

Nets busily looking for replacements after cancellations

TORONTO -- The pistol shot to be heard likely Wednesday at the Los Angeles Screenings will be the starting gun for Canadian broadcasters to start buying rookie U.S. series from their Hollywood suppliers.

The Canucks on Tuesday continued touring studio lots for marathon screenings of fresh pilots as news of network renewals and cancellations continued to come at them thick and fast.

Market-topper CTV, which volume buys from Warner Bros. International TV and Disney/ABC International Television, is busily tweaking its CTV and secondary A Channel network schedules after ABC canceled "Lost," "FlashForward, "Eastwick" and the "Happy Town" series.

A possible replacement for "FlashForward" on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the secondary A network is the ABC newcomer "My Generation." CTV is also absorbing a shortened 30-minute "American Idol" results show, and an expanded Tuesday performance show, both on its main network.

A solution could be Fox's midseason "Raising Hope" on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., followed by the "American Idol" results show at 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, CTV will be wrapping renewal deals for returning hits like the "CSI" franchise, "The Amazing Race," "Dancing With the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," the breakout reality series "Undercover Boss" and "Private Practice."

ABC's "Castle" performed so well for CTV, it moved the final three episodes from its A network to its main CTV network on Mondays at 10 p.m., to follow "The Big Bang Theory" at 9:30 p.m. and "Two And a Half Men" at 9 p.m.

Big cancellations for rival Global Television include ABC's "Shark Tank," NBC's "Heroes" and the earlier-yanked "24" and "Sons of Tuscon."

Beyond that, Global Television will return this fall with strength at 8 p.m., with "House" on Mondays, the breakout "Glee" on Tuesdays, "Lie to Me" on Wednesdays and "Bones" on Thursday.

Those renewal deals will mostly be done this week with Global-parent Canwest Global Communications Corp.'s traditional suppliers, CBS Studios International TV, Sony Pictures Television International and 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, with whom it has long-standing output deals.

Global Television will also likely renew this week returning hits like "Celebrity Apprentice," "The Good Wife," "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Also set in stone for Global Television's fall 2010 lineup is Fox's Sunday night animated comedy block, comprising "The Simpsons," "The Cleveland Show," "Family Guy" and "American Dad."

Besides buying new and returning U.S. series via output deals with Hollywood studios, the Canucks are also constrained in Los Angeles by simulcasting when and where possible American shows with their stateside airdates.

That will keep the Canucks on their toes this week, with one eye on new pilots and another on the upfront presentations unfolding in New York City.

From this, the Canadians will look to avoid programming blunders as they lock-in their fall 2010 lineups before making their own announcements to Canadian advertisers in Toronto in the first week of June.

Rogers Media, which is buying at the Screenings for its Citytv and Omni-branded TV stations, got good news when NBC renewed "Chuck" for another season on Monday nights, and "The Biggest Loser" and "Parenthood" were returned to Tuesday nights.

At the same time, Rogers was hit by the cancellations of NBC's "Trauma" and "Mercy" medical dramas, and ABC's "Scrubs."

Rogers has a hole in its NBC Thursday comedy block this fall with "Parks and Recreation" shifting to midseason, possibly to be filled with the new younger-skewing comedy "Outsourced."

The Canuck network is also awaiting word from CBS on the future of "Accidentally on Purpose," which is on the bubble. The earlier cancellation of "The Jay Leno Show" forced Rogers to fill a huge gap at 10 p.m. weeknights, including picking up NBC's "The Marriage
Ref" for Thursday nights, which partly eased its programming duties in Los Angeles this week.
comments powered by Disqus