CTV snags Mad Men

The net is the first conventional broadcaster in the world to acquire the rights to the '60s-era critical favourite. Will there be a feeding frenzy among advertisers?

CTV announced yesterday it has acquired the first two seasons of the critically lauded Mad Men series. The coup gives the net bragging rights as the first conventional broadcaster in the world to nab the controversial show, which debuted on AMC last July.

Canadian advertisers are likely to be enthusiastic about getting a piece of the vintage action, Hugh Dow, president of Toronto-based M2Universal, tells MiC – particularly because of the looming dearth of scripted shows due to the US writers’ strike.

Mad Men certainly comes to CTV with no shortage of industry accolades. The series appears capable of attracting a curious audience and will inevitably have a following from our ‘innovative yet ruthless profession,” Dow quips – referring to the feisty tone of the series, which is set in a cutthroat New York ad agency in the early ’60s.

CTV’s broadcast rights extend to its specialty channels. As well, the net has sewn up broadband and VOD rights for season two, which has yet to be produced. The premiere date and time slot for season one are TBA. However, CTV has confirmed that year one of the Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Drama Series will be part of its 2008 mid-season line-up.

‘It’s fitting that this acquisition comes just days after CTV broadcast the series finale of The Sopranos, which we first brought to conventional television in 2000,’ notes Susanne Boyce, CTV’s president, creative, content and channels. ‘With creator Matt Weiner, there’s a real pedigree evident in Mad Men that originates directly from The Sopranos. Weiner’s years on [that series] has manifested in the experience he brings to this next great big-buzz show.’

Adds Dow: ‘It will be very interesting to see where and how CTV plans to launch and promote the series. Remember how effectively the network used The Sopranos against the Olympics?’