Rogers Find Canada's Got Talent After America's Got Talent Debut Pops

5:41 AM PST 06/02/2011 by Etan Vlessing
Eric Liebowitz/NBC

Rogers Media programmer Malcolm Dunlop likes America's Got Talent so much, he ordered a Canadian version of the reality talent show, with Toronto-born Howie Mandel a possible host.

TORONTO -- Canadians like America’s Got Talent so much, broadcaster Malcolm Dunlop has licensed a local version from Fremantle Media for Spring 2012 to find Canada’s Susan Boyle or Jackie Evancho.

Like Victor Kiam, who bought Remington Products because he liked their electric shavers, Dunlop, executive vp of programming at Rogers Media, created Canada’s Got Talent for his Citytv network after the NBC talent show scored with local viewers.

Tuesday night’s two-hour America’s Got Talent premiere improved 39 per cent in the key 18-49 demo in Toronto, securing a 5.3 rating.

Nationally, America's Got Talent secured 1.49 million total viewers, and grew 35 per cent in the A18-49 demo, according to BBM Canada data.

"This season premieres ratings increase demonstrates the appeal the series has for Canadians across the board and we feel viewers will really embrace Canada's Got Talent,” Dunlop said.

Toronto-born Howie Mandel being a judge on America’s Got Talent helps explains the NBC show’s appeal in Canada, and Rogers Media’s decision to bring indie producer Insight Productions on board to make Canada’s Got Talent.

Insight Productions produced Deal or No Deal Canada, hosted by Mandel and licensed from Endemol USA, for Global Television after the Canadian broadcaster did well by NBC’s Deal or No Deal on its schedule.

Insight Productions executive producer John Brunton is hoping Mandel can host Canada’s Got Talent, depending on his availability.

Meanwhile, Rogers Media is promoting America’s Got Talent to the hilt, with Jackie Evancho in Toronto this week to sing for Canadian advertisers at the broadcaster’s Upfront presentation on Monday, followed Tuesday by an outdoor performance in front of 5,000 Torontonians.

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