VisionTV readies 2007-08 strategy

Canada's multi-faith and multicultural net is telling viewers to 'Expect More' this fall.

VisionTV is putting more drama and comedy into its fall sked, and also bowing new brand positioning: ‘Expect More.’ Vision TV COO and SVP programming Mark Prasuhn says the new focus on drama and comedy is a response to viewers’ demands and ‘may change many people’s perception of the network.’

Primetime drama for 2007-08 (new shows in bold) includes: acclaimed BBC series Rough Diamond (Mondays, 9 pm & 12 am ET / 6 pm & 9 pm PT, starting Oct. 1), about a struggling horse trainer in Ireland and his son (pictured); Doc Martin (returning Wednesdays, 9 pm & 12 am ET / 6pm & 9 pm PT, starting Sept. 5); Life Begins (returning Mondays, 9 pm & 12 am ET / 6 pm & 9 pm PT, starting Nov. 19); and a new season of McLeod’s Daughters (spring 2008).

The net’s British comedy offerings include: Waiting for God (Mondays, 8:30 pm & 1:30 am ET / 5:30 pm & 10:30 am PT, starting Sept. 3), about two elderly eccentrics who refuse to grow old gracefully in a retirement village; Sorry! (Wednesdays, 8 pm & 1 am ET / 5 pm & 10 pm PT, starting Sept. 5), about a fortysomething librarian living with his mother; the long-running Allo Allo! (Tuesdays, 8 pm & 8:30 pm ET / 5 pm & 5:30 pm PT, starting Sept. 4); Dinnerladies (Mondays, 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT), starring comedian Victoria Wood; and Eyes Down (Thursdays, 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT).

Familiar shows new to VisionTV include: Dawson’s Creek (Wednesdays, 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT, starting Sept. 5), Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (Mondays, 7 pm & 2 am ET / 4 pm & 11 pm PT, starting Sept. 3) and the Billy Ray Cyrus-starring small town doctor show, Doc (Mondays, 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT, starting Sept. 3).

Documentary series include: Medicine Woman (Mondays, 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT & Saturdays, 8 pm ET / 5pm PT, starting Sept. 3), about a Canadian First Nations doctor; The Protestant Revolution (Wednesdays & Saturdays, 10 pm ET /7 pm PT, starting Oct. 10); and a new season of The Naked Archaeologist (spring 2008). A fifth season of Recreating Eden and a second season of Enigma will premiere in 2008.

Special programming events also form a part of this season’s strategy as the net lines up Christmas programming and a week-long focus on faith, fact and fiction, which will include a rebroadcast of the controversial doc The Lost Tomb of Jesus.

The net will also air feature films (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9 pm & 12 am ET / 6 pm & 9 pm PT) such as Annie Hall, Dances with Wolves, Raging Bull, and Yentl. The award-winning miniseries Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story will round out the mix.