Canuck webs prep for summer shootout

Summer skeds combine new p'gramming, repeats, old standbys

TORONTO — The dog days of summer have become a thing of the past at Global Television and CTV, as Canada’s private conventional webs lock horns over schedules in what has become a year-round game.

Both webs released aggressive summer skeds that combine 10 hours per week of new programming — simulcasts, new series and cable fare — with old standbys and repeats.

In addition to returning faves including the wildly popular “Canadian Idol,” CTV is bowing four new series including “The Ultimate Love Test,” MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” and reality king Mark Burnett’s “The Casino.” There are also five original Canadian TV movies.

“I would say that each network reflects its personality or its values,” CTV prexy of programming Susanne Boyce said, “and on the schedule you’ve got ‘Punk’d,’ ‘The Osbournes,’ ‘The Sopranos.’ ”

These join Canadian newscaster Lloyd Robertson and local comedy “Corner Gas.”

“We try and pick the best,” Boyce said.

Last year CTV had 19 of the top 20 shows in the summer season; in bringing forward its own faster-paced lineup this year, Global is taking up the gauntlet.

Global’s sked includes 10-plus hours per week of new programming, including simulcasts of Fox’s “The Jury” and “North Shore,” as well as “Good Girls Don’t,” “Touching Evil” and “The L Word.”

“The summer season is no longer a time for repeats,” said Global veep of programming Adam Ivers.

Idea is not only to compete with CTV but also to woo an increasingly fragmented TV aud, which traditionally moves to cable in the summer months, while also providing a lead-in to the fall.

“This is product that has not been exposed in the marketplace,” Ivers said, “and we believe this is a real opportunity for our audiences, to provide something that’s fresh at a time when there seems to be an abundance of unscripted product available and fewer network repeats.”