Nets bump and shuffle for mid-season programming properties

Mid-season programming plans are well underway for the folks at CHUM and at Global, with key homegrown properties each set to take the lion's share of the nets' marketing pie. For CityTV, the big push is on for new reality series MuchMusic VJ Search airing on Monday, Jan. 30, while at Global, new Canadian drama Falcon Beach hopes to net the younger end of the 18-49 bullseye, beginning Thursday, Jan. 5.

'From the winter through to the spring, we've got very reliable hits returning. Fall was stable and [enabled us to] build viewer loyalty, positioning us really well for the winter programs,' says Barb Williams, SVP of programming and production at CanWest. Williams confirms that Fear Factor will return Mondays at 8 p.m., with 24 taking the 9 p.m. slot in January.

Mid-season programming plans are well underway for the folks at CHUM and at Global, with key homegrown properties each set to take the lion’s share of the nets’ marketing pie. For CityTV, the big push is on for new reality series MuchMusic VJ Search airing on Monday, Jan. 30, while at Global, new Canadian drama Falcon Beach hopes to net the younger end of the 18-49 bullseye, beginning Thursday, Jan. 5.

‘From the winter through to the spring, we’ve got very reliable hits returning. Fall was stable and [enabled us to] build viewer loyalty, positioning us really well for the winter programs,’ says Barb Williams, SVP of programming and production at CanWest. Williams confirms that Fear Factor will return Mondays at 8 p.m., with 24 taking the 9 p.m. slot in January.

At CityTV, look out for a new cycle of The Bachelor, beginning Monday, Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. At the end of that month, MuchMusic VJ Search will make its debut at 7 p.m. Ellen Baine, VP, programming at CHUM Television says the net is in the planning stage right now and has yet to solidify its full mid-season roster. ‘In the next two weeks we’ll be able to know what’s been cancelled,’ she adds.

Tuesday, January 3 at 10 p.m. sees the debut of Godiva’s, an hour-long drama series set in a restaurant. Wanted, the current owner of that slot, will be on hiatus then, says Baine. Canadian sci-fi series Stargate is also slated to return at the end of January.

New programs for both nets include one ‘beach’ drama apiece – South Beach for CityTV and Falcon Beach for Global. Baine says that CityTV picked up drama South Beach from UPN and will air the series beginning Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. until the end of February when another run of America’s Next Top Model will return to that slot.

‘For us, summer comes early,’ says Williams. ‘We’re doing a big push for our new Canadian show, Falcon Beach, and we’re giving it great placement on Thursday nights, beginning Jan. 5.’ No time slot has yet been decided. Williams says there will be a strong on-air campaign push for the series and in January, CanWest has plans to launch a large OOH campaign with bus boards, transit shelters and street teams. Williams adds that because the series emphasizes the Canadian indie music scene as part of the stories, a compilation CD is slated for release in the early spring. On Thursday nights, the net has confirmed the return of a new set of both Survivor and The Apprentice series at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively.

Other new pickups for Global includes the hour-long Love Monkey, launching the week of Jan. 16, date and time to be determined. The show is a lift from CBS and is a dramedy starring Beverly Hills 90210 alum Jason Priestley. Monday, Jan. 23 is the debut of half-hour sitcom The Jenna Elfman Show, another pickup from CBS.

Williams says Global is hoping to nab hour-long drama Windfall from NBC. She describes the show as a ‘soapy drama. Much like Desperate Housewives.’ That deal has yet to be inked.

Over at CityTV, pickups are yet to be determined, but definite drops for the net includeHot Properties across the A Channels by mid-December, as well as the Amy Grant vehicle Three Wishes. ‘We’re not sure yet what will replace those shows but in terms of moving things around, we can always slot in programs on a movie night, if we’re desperate,’ Baine says.

The major push for CityTV, she adds, will be for the summer release of the recently-announced Canada’s Next Top Model. ‘We’re building on that property and keeping our options open for that.’

CTV has yet to confirm its mid-season schedule.