SUN TV unveils fall sked

The small-but-growing regional broadcaster owned by Quebecor Media has picked up some new programming from FOX, NBC and The CW. But the channel also pushed its original productions in Toronto yesterday.

Quebecor Media’s SUN TV pitched a fall programming slate to media buyers and advertisers at the Hard Rock Café in Toronto yesterday, boasting new shows, a year of growth and a larger reach as an Ontario regional broadcaster.

SUN TV currently attracts a weekly count of 3.2 million viewers from Monday to Sunday on Rogers Digital Cable, ExpressVu and Starchoice. And the small-but-growing channel has seen 36% growth in its the A25-54 demo during primetime hours (NMR Sept. 2006-May 2007 versus the same 38 weeks in 2005-2006).

The channel is heading into the fall season with 12 hours of simulcast programming from US nets, including seven hours during primetime, and a number of original productions slated for the sked. ‘In this past broadcast year, we invested in more hours of simulcast programming in prime time, and we expanded our distribution in Ontario in key markets such as Kitchener, London and Ottawa on Rogers Digital,’ general sales manager Sindy Preger told the crowd. ‘We’ve pulled together last-minute campaigns, long-term commitments and creative executions, often with short notice and very challenging budgets.’

New shows on SUN TV’s fall primetime line-up include: FOX’s Nashville (Fridays at 9 pm), the hour-long docu-soap about the dreamers and dream-makers in the city’s music industry and big business circles; The CW’s Aliens in America (Mondays at 8:30 pm), about a high school teen’s life with a Pakistani Muslim exchange student; One Tree Hill (Wednesdays at 8 pm), a story of two estranged half-brothers and one girlfriend who meet at a crossroads in life; America’s Funniest Home Videos (Monday-Friday at 7:30 pm), the original Bob Saget episodes; and NBC’s Dateline (Saturdays at 8 pm).

New daytime and late-night shows include: the classic game show The Price is Right, with a new host replacing Bob Barker (Monday-Friday at 11 am); the family-friendly teen drama Ready or Not (Monday-Friday at 12:30 pm); an afternoon superhero block that includes the classics Wonder Woman (Monday-Friday at 3 pm), The Incredible Hulk (Monday-Friday at 4 pm) and My Secret Identity (Monday-Friday 5 pm); and the fifth and sixth seasons of 24 (Monday-Friday at midnight).

New independent productions coming to SUN TV in the fall include: Beautiful Noise (Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 3 pm), a music performance series covering the Berkeley Church in Toronto with headliners like Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Harmer, Feist and Jeff Healey; Jump Up Toronto, an insider’s look at the new Caribbean Festival formerly known as Caribana hosted by former VJ Tony ‘Master T’ Young; The DK Ibokmeka Story, a performance documentary about the Nigerian jazz sensation who grew up in London, Ontario; Cricket: Bowl & Stumps, Tony ‘Master T’ Young’s exploration of what the sport is and why it’s growing in popularity; The Steel City Comedy Showcase, a three-part half-hour series mixing comic veterans and emerging talent; and When the Music Speaks, a 13-part musical performance series featuring artists from across Canada.

Returning shows include: 60 Minutes, 48 Hours Mystery, Wifeswap, Girlfriends, Veronica Mars, World’s Most Amazing Videos, Forensic Factor, Scrubs Strip, To Serve and Protect, Canoe Live, Inside Jam, Leave it to Beaver, The King of Kensington, Danger Bay, Beachcombers, Columbo, McMillam & Wife, The Casino Rama Grill Room, Street Eats, Rez Bluez and The DVD Show.

SUN TV’s also got the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, The NAACP Image Awards and the Canadian Music Week Indie Awards on its winter 2008 sked.