Filmmaker reality series coming to Canada

TORONTO — Canada’s CTV has inked a deal on day one of NATPE to pick up new international reality offering “On the Lot,” the filmmaking competition exec produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett for Fox in the U.S.

Deal makes CTV the exclusive broadcaster of “On the Lot” in Canada, which becomes the first market outside the U.S. to sign onto a series expected to air in as many as 40 territories worldwide.

Skein’s producers announced they are coming to Toronto in March, seeking filmmakers eager to compete for the top prize, a seven-figure development deal with DreamWorks.

“From Louis B. Mayer and Jack Warner to Norman Jewison and David Cronenberg, Canada has produced some great moviemakers over the years,” said Spielberg in a statement. ” ‘On the Lot’ could be the big break that the next great Canadian filmmaker is looking for.”

A worldwide search will find 16 filmmakers who will produce shorts in various genres every week. Viewers are invited to vote for their faves online, a la “American Idol,” and one filmmaker is eliminated per week. The winner receives a development deal with DreamWorks and “the keys to a new office on the lot.”

Skein will preem in the spring and run twice a week throughout the summer, with a one-hour “Film Premiere” episode in which contestants’ pics are critiqued live, followed the next night by a half-hour “Box Office” episode, in which the director whose work receives the fewest votes is KO’d.

Hundreds of video submissions are already up on Web site Thelot.com, as are application forms and info.

CTV prexy of programming Susanne Boyce, who inked the deal on the net’s behalf, said, “Burnett and Spielberg together for the first time — who could ask for anything more?”

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