It is mid-May, 2020. By now, the major US broadcast networks have usually had their blockbuster upfront presentations in New York. Canadian broadcast execs would be flying down to Los Angeles this week to scoop up shows during the annual “Hollywood Screenings.” Not this week and not this year. The COVID-19 pandemic had shut down
The last of the Canadian upfronts took place Wednesday in Toronto as Blue Ant took centre stage. The presentation was at the Royal Ontario Museum, a fitting venue given that the Smithsonian Channel is among Blue Ant’s specialty holdings. As is the practice now, the network tipped their new programming initiatives ahead of their presentation.
Earlier this month at the Corus Upfront in Toronto, I had the good fortune to meet and interview two of the stars of The Young and the Restless: Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman, left) and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman). Their long-running CBS daytime serial is still one of the most popular shows on Global, ranking
The key graphic from CTV’s 93-minute upfront stage presentation Thursday at the Sony was a variation on a trick chief show fetcher Mike Costentio has used before: a giant chart showing the Top 50 highest-rated single episodes over the past 12 months. It shows that The Big Bang Theory occupied 24 of those 50 spots,
This has been the most muted upfront TV season I can remember. That impression may, admittedly, be due to the fact that I’ve seen a lot of them, but also I think it is because all the action and excitement and, frankly, a great deal of the audience, has shifted over to the streaming side.
I know Randy Lennox reads this blog. He told me so himself during Bell’s annual breakfast with the executives during last Thursday’s upfront in Toronto. The Bell Media president told me, in fact, that he was nearly run over as he was crossing the street while reading my take on the Rogers and Corus upfronts.
Time to give some credit where credit is due. Last year’s Corus upfront, I whinged here, seemed a tad awkward. There were super short interview opportunities and a great gulf, in the the group I was in at least, between the talent and the reporters. This Wednesday, things were greatly improved. For starters, this year’s
Rogers brought the stars out for their 2018 Upfront Tuesday and treated them to a true slice of Toronto. One by one, Howie Mandel, David Alan Grier, Kim Coates and others were ushered into humble eaterie Fran’s Restaurant. The diner ended up being an unconventional — yet appetizing — place to grab eight minutes with