|Blog gold: Pelley shows off the Rogers’ ‘links|
You can tell Rogers has arrived in the Canadian network upfront derby. The boss is wearing network cuff links.
It was easy to spot the red Rogers logo Tuesday at breakfast on President Keith Pelley’s blue cuffs. The power ‘links is classic Leslie Moonves. The CBS chairman is seldom seen at press tours without his iconic black eye cufflinks. Pelley had his custom made; so far they’re the only pair.
Rogers had plenty to crow about at their morning press session. City finished the past season No. 2 in prime time in the demo, gaining over Global.
Rogers was first out of the gate Tuesday morning in a busy week of Canadian network upfronts. The City brand is adding eight new comedies and six new dramas for 2013-14. Among the new shows are comedies Mom, the coveted new Chuck Lorre comedy starring Anna Faris, and Dads, a multi-generational laffer pairing Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi. “We had to buy Mom once we had Dads,” kidded programming EVP Malcolm Dunlop.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, an Office-like cop comedy starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, Robin Williams new ad men series The Crazy Ones, teaming him with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Super
Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are The Crazy Ones
Fun Night with Rebel Wilson and the Gomer Pyle-ish Enlisted round out the comedies.
The dramas are the lottery serial Lucky 7, spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and murder mystery Betrayal; Killer Women, Crisis and Resurrection premiere mid-season.
Rogers also did some horse trading. They flipped Person of Interest for rights to Mom, briefly held by CTV. Pelley said they did not ask for a player to be named later. Dunlop’s thinking is trade a popular but older-skewing drama for a comedy he feels will be a hit.
In a game changer of a five year deal, Rogers also snuck off with The Grammys. The Rogers boys see plenty of ways to play that up big on their radio and magazine properties. They also steal one of Global’s goodies and gain a hefty promotional tent pole in February.
Rogers also picked up Nashville, a series Dunlop says he really wanted the year before. CTV gave it up after one season.
|City will strip Modern Family five nights a week this fall|
Another biggie: beginning in the fall, City will strip Modern Family five nights a week with back-to-back episodes airing at 7 p.m. If this turns out half as well as they way CTV has overplayed The Big Bang Theory, there will be Rogers bundles of joy all around.
On the Can-con front, Rogers defied the ratings gods and ordered another season of Seed. There has to be a casting bombshell coming in Tuesday evenings upfront presentation. Director of original programming Claire Freeland says they’re tweaking and fixing but this show got the right slot on the right night behind a strong lead-in and simply did not take root. A re-Seed can be seen as a commitment to Canadian content, a shout out to the CRTC or a tremendous leap of faith.
Vancouver-based Package Deal has been moved back–again–to fall. The plan to rest Bachelor Canada until 2014 is still alive. Freeland says the next Bachelor won’t be hand-picked, but will be part of the country-wide casting process.
|Package Deal has been moved to fall|
Freeland also announced a couple of new reality projects, including one Pelley was excited about: Meet The Family. Based on a UK series, the premise basically punks a new member of a family by putting them to a test. This happened to Pelley way back when he was dating this girlfriend–who happened to be the daughter of Toronto Sun crime writer Max Haines.
Haines cooked up a little plan around the dinner table when the rest of the family was n the kitchen; he’d fake a hate-on for Pelley. Pelley would finally have enough and push back.
“It happened,” said Pelley, who earned those Rogers cuff links the hard way.
The network brought talent to Toronto’s Soho Metropolitan for a series of brief press skirmishes. Former Desperate Housewive Eva Longoria granted five minutes. She’s starring in an animated mid-season comedy called Mother Up! It’s by Ottawa-native Greg Lawrence (Crash Canyon) and former CBC exec Fred Fuchs.
Longoria looks hotter than ever. Being a nerd, I used my five minutes to engage her in ‘toon talk, but fearless KISS 92.5 camera-scribe Maurie Sherman had read on line that she no longer wears panties. “Is that true?” he enquired. Longoria shot down the rumour. “I’m wearing some now,” she declared.
Now that’s being upfront.