CTV's fall schedule heavy on the hits

Adds new series, returning U.S. hits, homegrown shows

TORONTO -- Canadian ratings-leader CTV on Monday unveiled a fall schedule heavy on returning U.S. hits and new homegrown series.

Among its seven new series are Warner Bros.' "Eleventh Hour," "The Mentalist" and J.J. Abrams' "Fringe," which will air on CTV's recently acquired A-Channel network.

The A-Channel network, to be rebranded as A, also will feature returning U.S. series "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Cold Case" and "Gossip Girl."

The Canadian broadcaster programmed only one rookie U.S. series on its main CTV network: Lucasfilm Animation's "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," for Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

The main CTV network will instead rely on such returning hits as "American Idol," "Grey's Anatomy," the "CSI" franchise, "Criminal Minds" and "Desperate Housewives."

Susanne Boyce, CTV president of creative, content and channels, said she that purposely programmed most of her new U.S. series on the A-Channel stations to show confidence in her second network.

"We wanted to come up with a complementary schedule that would allow the As to compete immediately," Boyce said as CTV held its upfront presentation in Toronto.

New Canadian dramas from CTV include two series sold to U.S. networks during the recent WGA strike: CBS' "Flashpoint," to air Fridays at 10 p.m., and NBC's "The Listener," which will air Sunday nights at 10 p.m. after "Desperate Housewives."

Also on the domestic front, CTV will air a Canadian version of "So You Think You Can Dance," a new Brent Butt comedy, a daytime talker hosted by veteran radio and TV host Marilyn Denis and a new season of "Canada's Next Top Model."

The Canadian upfronts continue Wednesday with a presentation by rival CanWest Media.