Canada’s CTV buys raft of drama for fall schedule

Fresh from last week’s LA Screenings, the reshuffled management team at Canadian free-to-air broadcaster CTV has picked up a raft of US drama for its fall season.

The broadcaster, which had a management shake-up in February ahead of its takeover by Bell, spent heavily at the Screenings. It picked up Disney-distributed modern-day  fairy-tale drama Once Upon a Time, cop procedural The Protector and comedy Man Up, which will be transmitted in CTV Two.

From Sony it acquired 60s airline drama Pan Am, the new Charlie’s Angels series and cop drama Unforgettable. It also has the US version of Sony’s talent competition The Sing Off and renewed its reality show Shark Tank for another year.

CTV has bought another fairy tale-inspired drama, Grimm, from NBC as well as a trio of comedy series from the studio: Whitney; Free Agents; and Up All Night. The last two of the three will air on CTV Two.

For midseason, CTV has G.C.B. and action series Missing from Disney and Steven Spielberg’s musical drama Smash from NBC.

The Canadian free-to-air nets simulcast shows with their US counterparts and are the first of the international broadcasters to announce what they picked up at the Screenings.

Canadian advocacy group ACTRA said that Canadian broadcasters are not sufficiently backing local drama producers. Global has no Canadian drama in prime time on its fall schedule. CityTV, CTV and CTV Two each have one hour.

“Canadian broadcasters are nothing more than simulcasters,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President. “Once again I have to ask why do we even have Canadian conventional broadcasters if all they’re going to show is the same stuff we can see on the US networks?”