CHUM reveals specialty fall skeds

Here's a look at what's been announced for Citytv, A-Channel, FashionTelevision, Bravo, SexTV, Star!, and TV Land Canada.

CHUM Television officially announced its fall programs for Citytv, A-Channel, Space, Star! and Bravo specialty nets yesterday. As reported in MiC‘s May 31 coverage, the major US acquisitions after the upfronts were Chuck and Reaper, but there are a few other items of interest in the programming breakdowns here…

Citytv and A-Channel

New shows slated for Citytv’s fall primeitime sked include: Chuck, about a computer geek turned secret agent; Reaper, the supernatural dramedy from exec producer Kevin Smith; Blood Ties, about a 29-year-old female ex-cop turned private investigator who starts fighting supernatural crime with a 450-year-old vampire who just happens to be the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII; Terminal City, a 10-part series that looks at the modern family through the lenses of cancer and reality television; and Across the River to Motor City, a mystery series spanning four decades in the life of an insurance investigator and (later) his relationship with his daughter. CHUM has slated the new series Kyle XY, about a teenage boy found wandering with no memory and no belly button, for A-Channel.

CHUM’s major returning shows include Ugly Betty (Citytv), Men in Trees (Citytv), Entourage (Citytv), America’s Next Top Model (Citytv), The Bachelor (Citytv), Battlestar Galactica (Citytv), Pussycat Dolls: The Search for the Next Doll (Citytv), Smallville (Citytv, A-Channel), Supernatural (Citytv), Everybody Hates Chris(Citytv), Monk (A-Channel), America’s Funniest Home Videos (Citytv, A-Channel), Rachael Ray (Citytv), Access Hollywood (Citytv), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Citytv, A-Channel), Jimmy Kimmel Live (Citytv), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Citytv, A-Channel) and Late Night with Conan O’Brien (Citytv, A-Channel). Mid-season shows include Supernanny and Murdoch Mysteries, an extension of the made-for-TV movies adapted from Maureen Jennings’ best-selling novels, which are set in 1895 Toronto.


Space will also air Blood Ties and Kyle XY. The specialty net’s other new series is Grand Star, which chronicles the lives of survivors on Earth during a future ice age. New mini-series set for launch on Space include: Sea of Souls, about a couple who renovate a country house in Scotland and end up unearthing sinister scriptures and paintings that lead to paranormal experiences and the world of witchcraft; and Life Line, about a self-made man who calls a mysterious chatline for the bereaved and ends up talking to a dead lover. The channel’s fall programming will also include Empathy, a movie about a man who gets out of prison and gains the ability to see and feel what others see and feel, leading him to become a prime murder suspect after he tries to use the abilities to prevent the crime.

Other programs new to Space are Surface, a show about a new sea creature being discovered in locales around the world (it’s seemingly innocent but full of surprises), and Roar, starring a young Heath Ledger leading a small band of Celts against the Roman empire. Returning shows include Battlestar Galactica (season four), The 4400 (season four), Eureka (season two), Supernatural (season three), Smallville (season seven), and Stargate Atlantis – a spin-off of the Stargate SG-1 series. HypaSpace Weekly, a sci-fi and fantasy-themed news program that also includes interstitial segments throughout the sked, will also return, along with The Spaceys, the specialty’s viewer-voted awards show.


FashionTelevision has a new one-hour original show called Designer Marathon, with each ep offering up a chronological timeline of a designer’s life while highlighting signature collections. Returning original shows and specials include the long-running FashionTelevision and flagship show, In Fashion, along with The Art of the Photograph, Larger Than Life, Raw and Cover Stories. Returning acquired programming includes Style Her Famous, Fashion Uncensored Uncut, Fashion Classics, Videofashion Men, Elements of Style, Model TV, House of Boateng, Blow Out, Australia’s Next Top Model and Britain’s Next Top Model.


Bravo!’s fall sked includes: Joni Mitchell and the Alberta Ballet’s highly anticipated The Fiddle and The Drum; Kombat Opera Presents, a series of operatic interpretations of The Apprentice and Wife Swap; Christopher House: Ahead of the Curve, a one-hour documentary about one of Canada’s beloved modern dance maestros and the artistic director of the Toronto Dance Theatre; Dancing With Spirit, a six-part half-hour series profiling aboriginal dancers across Canada; Road to Baleya, a one-hour doc following Canadian musicians journeying to Mali, West Africa, to record local musicians; and Long John Baldry: A Life in Blues, a one-hour doc about the life and legacy of the guitarist/singer who died in Toronto two years ago.

The line-up also includes: Sounds Like Motown, a one-hour doc following four high school kids from Victoria, BC, who perform with Martha Reeves; Heart Beat: Caribbean Musicians and Composers in Canada, a 13-part half-hour series; Murdoch Mysteries, an extension of the made-for-TV movies adapted from Maureen Jennings’ best-selling novels, which are set in 1895 Toronto; John Neville, a one-hour doc on the actor and artistic director for several Canadian theatre companies; Peggy and Pen: The Life and Literature of Margaret Atwood, a one-hour doc on the life of the writer; and A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, an exploration of exile, memory, longing and democracy, as seen through the experiences of the world-renowned writer.

Also upcoming are: Scanning the Movies, a Bravo! series that teaches audiences how to critique new films; Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary, an interpretation of the Bram Stoker story by Guy Maddin; Brand Upon the Brain!, Guy Maddin’s silent film that premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival along with live foley artists, a narrator and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Three Superstars Live in Berlin, a concert by Plácido Domingo with operatic sensations Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón; Bryan Ferry: Dylanesque, which goes behind the scenes of Ferry’s tribute album to Bob Dylan; Johnny Cash: Live at Montreux; and Territories, a one-hour doc about Canadian photographer Larry Towell. The channel will also return with new eps of Inside the Actor’s Studio, Entourage, Live at the Rehearsal Hall and the short film showcase Bravo!Fact.

SexTV: The Channel

New original specials include: Bump & Grind: The Making of A Burlesque Diva, an hour-long documentary that follows four sexy sirens from their hometowns to Las Vegas; Beyond Carnival: Sex in Brazil, a one-hour special that gets behind the sexual diversity of the country with characters like an ex-pimp who now runs a hospice and a sex worker who won the right for prostitutes to retire with pensions; X – A People’s History, a decade-by-decade look at the history of sex in the popular imagination of North America since 1950; and Sex Wars: Gender in the Age of Representation, which features prominent media theorists and writers exploring the values of a society that stresses differences between the sexes. Original shows returning are Sextv, Erotic City and Strange Bedfellows.


New series include: South Side Story, a six-part show about actor Russell Crowe’s real-life effort to revive a once grand but now failing Australian rugby team franchise; This is David Gest, a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ series about Gest’s life as a music producer and soon-to-be ex-husband of Liza Minnelli; Awesome 80s, featuring interviews with icons from the decade of big hair; This Is, about the inside secrets, struggles and successes of the Hollywood elite; Make Me A Star, a new weekly half-hour reality show that follows the life of Star!’s own Sean Gehon as he seeks stardom in stand-up comedy, runway modeling, pop music and rehab.

As well, there’s Battle of the Stars, which pits celebs against each other as judges critique their careers. New specials will include: Star! on the Red Carpet, for coverage of all the big entertainment events; Star! Schmooze, which celebrates the Toronto International Film Festival; Star ’07, a year-in-review show; and the 2008 Genie Awards.

Some of Star!’s returning shows are Star! Daily; Best! Movies! Ever!; Big Hollywood Countdown; the half-hour reality series Making It; Behind the Movies; America’s Next Top Model; Australia’s Next Top Model; the second season of Style Her Famous; Look-A-Like; The Ellen DeGeneres Show; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

TV Land Canada

New fall shows include: Fantasy Island; Hart to Hart; Love, American Style; and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. These additions will join TV Land Canada’s returning line-up of oldies: Dallas; Happy Days; Lassie; 21 Jump Street; Wiseguy; Petticoat Junction; and Joanie Loves Chachi.