CBC taps 'Magic Man' for ratings

One-hour Christmas special features Greg Frewin

TORONTO -- Canadian indie producer Tim Troke hopes to pull a ratings winner out of the hat for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. with "Greg Frewin Magic Man: Home for the Holidays."

The one-hour Christmas special features Frewin balancing family and career while running a dinner theatre, and climaxes with the veteran Las Vegas stage magician suspended upside-down in a strait jacket over Niagara Falls with "blades of fire" hurtling towards him.

"We took Greg's magic and married it with a reality/documentary style to take in Niagara Falls, which is equally spectacular," Frogwater Media CEO Troke said.

Frogwater is putting content on YouTube to drive traffic to the Dec. 9 TV special, and ran a competition to send viewers to Niagara Falls to see Frewin's show.

Besides "Magic Man," the CBC this week also unveiled to advertisers a mid-season slate led by the CBC/ABC comedy "18 to Life," about young neighbors who marry on a dare, and the father-and-son crime dramedy "Republic of Doyle" on Wednesday nights.

The public broadcaster is also debuting Tuesday nights "Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town," an eight-part murder mystery starring The Kids in the Hall comedy troupe.