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Canadian broadcaster Shaw Media opened its wallet at the recent Los Angeles Screenings before returning home with 11 new American dramas and seven rookie comedies.
Like a sport coach that stuffs the bench with big money talent, Shaw picked up for its Global Television network three Fox dramas for its 2013-14 campaign, including the J.J. Abrams’ futuristic series Almost Human for Mondays to replace the returning hit Bones as it moves to Friday.
Also in the pipeline is the Tom Mison-starrer Sleepy Hollow, for Monday nights at 9 p.m., and the mid-season series Rake, which stars Greg Kinnear as a defense attorney whose self-destructive ways hinders his work life.
And new comedies that Shaw will pitch to domestic advertisers during its Upfront presentation in Toronto on Wednesday include a simulcast of Will Arnett’s The Millers from CBS’ Thursday night comedy block at 8:30 p.m, to follow NBC’s multicultural family comedy Welcome to the Family pre-released at 8 p.m.
“I think for us it’s about being more than willing to buy if the stuff there is good and works,” Shaw senior vp of content Barbara Williams said after screening U.S. network pilots during her recent Hollywood shopping expedition.
For Shaw, as rival Canadian broadcasters, fall and winter primetime campaigns are virtually synchronized with U.S. network schedules to the south to maximize audience and ad sales.
“Sometimes they line up better than other years and, when you combine good fortune with good television, we were by all means comfortable and excited to spend this year,” Williams added.
In all, Shaw acquired 12 new fall season series, to combine with a dozen returning shows like its Survivor and NCIS franchises.
On the comedy side, Shaw picked up Sean Hayes’ Sean Saves The World and The Michael J. Fox Show for Wednesdays, and We Are Men is added to its Fox Sunday night animated comedy lineup.
Shaw also retooled its 10 p.m. slots, picking up James Spader’s The Blacklist for Mondays, the New York City cop drama Ironside for Wednesdays, and Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, on Fridays, along with the local six-part series Walk the Walk for Saturdays.
Shaw also ordered for mid-season on Global Television the Canadian drama Remedy and the local sitcom Working the Engels, while also picking up the Queen Latifah talker for its daytime lineup.
The Canadian Upfront week continues Thursday with Bell Media rolling out its upcoming 2013-14 season to local advertisers in Toronto.
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