Canadian TV buyers wrap up

CTV, Canwest find bargains after years of price hikes

TORONTO--The Canadians have virtually wrapped their business at the LA Screenings, before flying home Sunday with the latest U.S. series for their own local fall schedule presentations next week.

Main players CTV and Canwest Global  as in past years bought along studio lines via output deals. And they managed to secure reduced prices compared to former years when the studios managed price hikes.

Canwest picked up the bulk of the CBS Studios slate, which includes “The Good Wife,” executive produced by Ridley and Tony Scott,  and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which the Canadian network will pair on its schedule with "NCIS."

Canwest also grabbed two Sony series,  “Brothers” (for Fox Stateside) and “Community” (for NBC in the U.S.). And continuing to target a younger demo than that of rival CTV, Canwest came away with three new comedies licensed by Fox:  “Glee,” a series about a high school glee club, the new Seth MacFarlane series “Cleveland,” and the family sitcom “Sons of Tuscon" — again as part of an output deal.

For its part, CTV relied on its ongoing arrangement with Warners, scooping up “The Forgotten” and “Miami Trauma,” both executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

CTV has had a long association with Bruckheimer, having picked up the “CSI” franchise, “Cold Case,” “Without A Trace” and last year the sci-fi crime drama “Eleventh Hour.”  Both “Without a Trace” and “Eleventh Hour” have been canceled.
CTV also picked up the Disney newcomer drama "Flash Forward," which is based on Canadian Robert  Sawyer's novel of the same name.

A CTV spokesman said the network had few holes to fill with returning franchises like “CSI,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives” back this year.

CTV programmers will figure out where to schedule their new series before the Canadian upfront presentations June 2 to 4.

Rogers Media was tightlipped Sunday about its purchases for its Citytv-branded TV stations, but did come away with “Modern Family” from Fox as it pursued more scripted comedy and dramas.

“I always think during tough economic times, comedies are a good thing. People are looking for the next big comedy,” Dunlop said.

Rogers earlier picked up NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show” for its 10 p.m. slot. The Canucks pay a premium to studio suppliers for series simulcast rights to maximize audience and ad revenue.

Toronto station Sun TV said it was still mopping up product left on the table by rivals CTV and Canwest Global on Saturday night.