CTV on board Burnett's 'Pirate' ship


TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CTV Inc. on Wednesday said it has ordered Mark Burnett's pirate-based competition reality series.

Toronto-based CTV bought the exclusive Canadian rights to "Pirate Master: The Adventure Begins," which is set to bow on CBS this summer after Burnett's "Survivor: Fiji" installment concludes on rival network Global Television.

CTV began talking to Mark Burnett Prods. about "Pirate Master" last month at NATPE, where it sealed a deal for the Canadian rights to "On the Lot," a new filmmaker-themed reality series from Burnett and Steven Spielberg for Fox (HR 1/16).

Other reality series installments CTV has scheduled for the summer include "Canadian Idol" and Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."

" 'Pirate Master' promises to be jolly good summer fun. It's complete escapism and will make for rollicking summer viewing," Susanne Boyce, CTV president of programming, said after inking the deal.

CTV bills "Pirate Master" as a competition between 16 contestants aboard a Caribbean pirate ship in search of buried treasure valued at $1 million.

One competitor will be "set adrift" each week until three are left in the hunt for the pirates' bounty.

CTV gave no details on casting for "Pirate Master," including its host.

Rival Global Television continues to draw big numbers with the "Survivor" and "Apprentice" franchises, and in September did well when Canadian Lukas Rossi won the latest installment of Burnett's "Rock Star: Supernova." In 2004, CTV first acquired Burnett's comedy outing, "Commando Nanny," and the gambling reality series "The Casino."