CTV sets dates for Mad Men, Flashpoint

The two series have finally found their spots on the CTV schedule, which will put the much-buzzed dramas on air this summer alongside the season's more typical mix of reality and teen fare.

CTV revealed its summer plans yesterday, announcing that it has picked up ABC’s High School Musical: Summer Session, a teen-aimed reality/competition and an extension of the hit movies that are seen here on Family Channel. The show will air Sundays and Mondays beginning July 20 and is one of several teen-skewing series on the schedule, including The Hills, brought over to the main network from MTV, Gossip Girl and the fourth season of homegrown drama Instant Star.

CTV programming boss Susanne Boyce hopes season three of The Hills will follow the successes of MTV’s Punk’d and The Osbournes, which also crossed over to the main network during the summer. ‘It will give people a chance to watch it on the main channel, which will lead into the season four premiere in August on MTV,’ she says, adding that series like HSM help bring variety to the summer roster. ‘We always try to do a balanced schedule. High School Musical is a fun addition.’

Boyce is headed to the LA screenings next week, though her network was scooped on some fall shows this week by Global and its surprise five-title deal with NBC Universal. She seems indifferent to the deal, however, and says she’ll hold off on buying any US shows until she sees them and has a chance to talk to the creators.

CTV’s summer schedule kicks off with the return of So You Think You Can Dance on May 22, while the sixth season of perennial favorite Canadian Idol begins its run on June 3, airing on Mondays and Tuesdays.

CTV also has the new dramedy Greek, from ABC Family, about a brother and sister dealing with fraternity and sorority life at a fictitious university – airing Fridays at 9 pm following Ghost Whisperer.

Regis Philbin, meanwhile, returns to prime time as host of the game show Million Dollar Password, in which contestants team up with stars including Rosie O’Donnell and Rachael Ray for a chance to win $1 million. Coincidentally, it was almost 10 summers ago that Philbin and the US version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? debuted on ABC, launching the game show craze that continues to this day.

Mad Men will air Sundays at 10 pm starting June 8. The buzzed-about office drama from AMC, set against the backdrop of a 1960s advertising firm, has been on the shelf at CTV since January, the heir apparent to The Sopranos as the network’s next daring high-end drama.

CTV will air Toronto-produced Flashpoint on Fridays at 10 pm in simulcast with CBS beginning July 11. CBS picked up the series, to great fanfare on this side of the border, back in January. ‘It’s a great opportunity for us, because it’s attractive to sales,’ says Boyce, pointing out that series including Without a Trace and Numbers have done well in that time slot.

From Playback Daily