|ABC’s Pan Am: cleared for landing at CTV next fall|
Variety and the Hollywood Reporter have already spilled some details as to who bought what in the annual Can-Am cash for content exchange. This year, Canadian show buyers from Bell/CTV, Shaw/Global, Rogers/City and others agreed to play nice and actually wait until they screened everything before bidding on any shows. In the past this thing has played out like a bunch of parents fighting over the latest copy of Call of Duty’s Notorious. Either that or prior to even landing in L.A., network execs had sewn up secret nudge wink handshake deals for a season full of goodies from Fox, Disney, Warners or whoever.
Not so much this year. Nothing happened until last Saturday at 10 a.m. Then the bidding wars began.
When the smoke cleared, CTV had cherry picked the few biggies it needed for its still dominant schedule: retro sky drama Pan Am (featuring Christina Ricci, fourth from left above), Darren Star’s G.C.B. (“Good Christian Bitches,” starring Leslie Bibb abd Annie Potts), new NBC comedy Whitney (starring comedienne Whitney Cummings) and close to sure thing The X Factor. Rogers–weeks after crying poor (again) to the CRTC in Ottawa–threw tons of moola at long time Global suppliers Warners and Fox and came away with the greatest number of shows, including ABC’s Revenge, starring Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters). Global, we hear, did not overspend.
|CBS’s The Fugitive: did not run|
This might not be a bad thing. Every season is a crap shoot and the shows that are supposed to be the next big thing often blow up in a Canadian show buyers face. A remake of The Fugitive? Can’t miss. Aaron Sorkin’s new Studio 60 with Matt Perry? Buy everything Warners has to get it. The Event? Sure to be the next Lost.
Then there are the little sleeper shows that turn out to be monster hits. Only one guy at CTV saw any potential in The Big Bang Theory and he had to talk his higher ups into buying it.
So far it is way too early to tell if 2011-12 will be a bumper year like two years ago, when rookies Glee, Modern Family, The Good Wife and NCIS: Los Angeles became instant hits–or last season when Lonestar, Chase, Undercovers, The Whole Truth and Outlaw were all pretty much DOA.
Here’s all you need to know about last season: Mike & Molly was the No. 1 new comedy and Raising Hope the No. 1 new comedy in the younger demos. The No. 1 new comedy in Canada? S#*! My Dad Says, a show CBS canceled.
So Global show buyers, led by EVP Barb Williams–the most experienced hand heading into this U.S. show market opposite the new suits from Rogers and Bell–may eventually look smart for not overspending. On the other hand, what’s she going to plug into Thursday, Friday and Sunday?
Just one of the questions to be answered next week at the City upfront Monday, Global Tuesday and CTV Thursday, all in Toronto.