Corner Gas flips its slot and pumps up fan interaction online

Canada's favorite sitcom is dabbling in e-postcards and online auctions to deepen the engagement factor.

CTV’s homegrown mega-hit Corner Gas has a new timeslot as of next week when the show will air half an hour earlier at 8 p.m. ET, starting on Monday, Oct. 9. This pushes The Class to 8:30 p.m., and provides a strong lead-in for the freshman laugher. This move pits Corner Gas against Global Television’s much-promoted Friday Night Lights and CBC’s Doctor Who. Meanwhile, the comedy’s fourth season will continue airing on the Comedy Network on Saturdays at 8 p.m.

When Corner Gas returned Sept. 18, it recorded its 51st consecutive million-plus audience (at 1.2 million that night) for CTV, retaining its title as the Canada’s most-watched comedy. But the show is not resting on its laurels, and is even using its just-released season three DVD as a way to lure more traffic.

The DVD comes in a limited edition package that includes a specially-commissioned mock comic book cover from Canadian Marvel and DC comic book artist Ron Boyd. In addition, the DVD contains a $15 coupon for a discount on a Corner Gas hockey jersey at the show’s web store at Once there, site visitors will find pumped up original content and fan-interactivity elements, such as the chance to earn ‘Dog River Dollars’ by playing online games and answering a weekly quiz. Soon, users will be able to send e-postcards to earn Dog River Dollars, and a messages link to new webisodes featuring Corner Gas characters. Viewers can then spend their Dog River Dollars by bidding in weekly online auctions following each new season-four episode.

The DVD release also comes four weeks before the publication of Penguin Canada’s new book Tales From Dog River: The Complete Corner Gas Guide. Penned by entertainment writer Michele Sponagle, the 200-page companion book hits bookstores on November 1.