Looking back at upfront: CTV gets last word

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.… Read on



WEDNESDAY: Corus puts the U.S. in “USfronts”

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… Read on


Dining out at Fran’s with Howie, Coates & Grier

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… Read on


CTV looks to buy its way back to dominance

First about the food: CTV stuck with the same old breakfast Wednesday in their 6th floor balcony bunker at 299 Queen Street West. Press had their choice of cold egg squares with spinach and/or cold sausages. Bottles of liquid leaf clippings were on ice to wash it all down. I guess Bell’s media breakfast budget got… Read on



Let’s be upfront: this fall looks pretty familiar

Upfronts have become look back week, and that’s bad news for broadcast television. This used to be draft day, a chance to look forward, to see where the smart minds of broadcasting were taking the medium. Now the big news is the return of shows that failed 20, ten or two years ago. Is there… Read on


Ain’t no cure for upfront fever

NEW YORK — One of the sure signs of spring is the annual promotion of the next fall TV season. There are signs all over Manhattan, including illuminated ads on top of Yellow Cabs promoting the return of Will & Grace. That’s a straight-to-series reboot NBC will flaunt next week when all the US networks unveil their… Read on


This week’s podcast: hockey talk and upfront chatter

If this podcast sounds a little muffled, blame the upfronts. Fleeing Wednesday’s Shaw press event, I ducked into what I thought was a hotel parking entrance off Yorkville when CHML producer Jacob Smith reached me on mobile. A burly security dude chased my back into construction hell just as Scott Thompson opened with hockey talk. Scott asks… Read on


Upfronts 2015: Rogers shares the sizzle (reel)

It took 52 minutes to drive to Rogers 2015 upfront this morning in downtown Toronto. The sizzle reel they showed press this morning also lasted 52 minutes. Coincidence? I think not. Rogers lucked into last season’s hottest show–Empire–and hope to build on that strength this year as they swing back towards imported content and away… Read on