U.S. fare warms Canada summer


Canadian broadcasters on Wednesday spotlighted a host of new U.S. acquisitions as they unveiled their summer schedule changes.

CTV, Canada's top-rated national network, will look to keep Canadians indoors this season with two Mark Burnett reality series: Fox's "On the Lot," beginning Tuesday, and CBS' "Pirate Master," which will air Thursday nights.

CTV also is rolling out the ABC drama "Traveler" on Wednesday nights — after a Tuesday bow May 29 — before debuting NBC's "Thank God You're Here" on June 2. "Thank God," an improv comedy series that originated in Australia, will be hosted by Canadian comic Dave Foley.

Returning summer series at the network include Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Canadian Idol," the top-rated Canadian summer series in recent years.

Rival CanWest MediaWorks will kick off the summer schedule on its Global Television network with the N's "The Best Years," beginning Tuesday, and NBC's Bob Saget-hosted "1 vs. 100" on Wednesday.

CH, CanWest MediaWorks' parallel national network, will air "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" after a cable run here. The network also announced new seasons of Fox's "The Loop," FX's "The Shield," CBS' "Creature Comforts" and NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

Elsewhere, Chum Ltd. is debuting the CW's "Hidden Palms" on its Citytv stations May 30, and Canadian pay channels Movie Central and the Movie Network have booked HBO's "John From Cincinnati," the surfing series from "Deadwood" creator David Milch, to bow immediately after the series finale of "The Sopranos."

Also coming to both premium channels from HBO is "Flight of the Conchords," a 12-episode series following the antics of the music and comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clements.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada's public broadcaster, is relying on homegrown series to drive summer viewing, adding the new reality series "The Second City's Next Comedy Legend" and "The Phoenix Sessions," a Friday night music show.