Canada’s Bell picks up 16 U.S. shows

CTV slates to include 'X Factor,' 'Pan Am'

Canada’s Bell Media is adding 16 new U.S. shows to its CTV and CTV Two networks’ fall slates, CTV programming and sports president Phil King announced Thursday in advance of its upfront presentation to local ad buyers.

“The X Factor” (Fox) will hit CTV in simulcast Wednesdays and air Thursdays on the recently rebranded CTV Two (formerly A), which launches in high definition this fall.

Shows joining CTV’s Sunday lineup include jet-fuelled period drama “Pan Am” (ABC), starring Christina Ricci, and fantasy drama “Once Upon a Time” (ABC). CTV adds crime drama “Unforgettable” (CBS) with Poppy Montgomery to Tuesday; “Charlie’s Angels” (ABC) and relationship sitcom “Whitney” (NBC) to Thursday; supernatural crime thriller “Grimm” (NBC) to Friday; and Nick Lachey-hosted competition skein “The Sing-Off” (NBC) to Saturday.

Midseason primetime additions to CTV’s schedule include musical drama “Smash” (NBC), starring Debra Messing, Texas-based dramedy “G.C.B.” (ABC) and family-focused procedural “Missing” (ABC), starring Ashley Judd.

CTV also adds talk series “Anderson” to its weekday daytime lineup.

On Wednesday, Bell Media announced its slate of new and returning Canadian series — destined for CTV and Bell’s cable channels — and other production ventures, including Bell Benefits, a new C$100 million ($103 million) investment supporting new scripted dramas, comedies and docus in partnership with local independent producers.

While early reports following the L.A. screenings indicated Bell Media was not buying heavily for CTV, the country’s top network, the aud growth and reach of CTV Two (which hits 90% of Canada’s English-speaking market) made it a dependable new home for returning series “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order: SVU,” opening up CTV slots.CTV Two is also the destination for new fall series, including sitcom “Man Up” (ABC) and single-mom procedural drama “The Protector” on Tuesdays, and parenting comedy “Up All Night” (NBC), starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, and Hank Azaria-led sitcom “Free Agents” (NBC) on Wednesdays.

“The easiest thing to do would be to sit on our No. 1 schedule and not make any moves,” said King, referring to the ratings dominance of CTV, which ended the 2010-11 season with more Top 20 hits (including Canada’s overall ratings winner, “The Big Bang Theory”) than its rival nets combined. “But our acquisitions are so strong, they are cracking the CTV lineup in year one. We strongly believe some of our new series represent the next generation of TV hits.”Last week, Bell Media announced it had nabbed digital rights for all CTV’s new scripted series and most of its returning shows, and will make its mobile offerings available to all Canadian wireless operators.

Next summer, CTV and Bell Media’s English- and French-language sports channels and other media assets will offer more than 5,000 hours of London 2012 Olympics coverage.

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