CTV primetime series headed to A

During the Olympic Games from Feb. 12 to 28, CTV will shift its top-rated US programming to its A channels.

CTV is set to shift its top US series to its A channels as the Olympic flame flickers round-the-clock on its main network from Feb. 12 to 28.

Mike Cosentino, SVP of program scheduling at CTV, says converging the current CTV and A schedules was made easier as rival US networks blinked and pulled some top shows from their schedules during the Games, or will air repeats, to avoid NBC’s Olympics buzzsaw.

That allowed CTV to avoid repeats of popular series and stay with simulcasts of Lost, American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy on the A’s, to retain viewer loyalty during the Vancouver Games.

‘It’s not as problematic as it could have been,’ Cosentino says.

Since NBC is also shifting its schedule to accomodate the Games, CTV has been able to move some of its top-rated shows with little trouble. For example, A channels regularly air Castle on Monday nights at 10 p.m., but during the Games, that slot will be filled by CTV’s CSI: Miami. But Castle doesn’t lose out entirely, because it will be shifted to the Sunday 7 p.m. slot, which was previously filled by CW’s Gossip Girl, which is off the air during the Games.

Elsewhere, Private Practice will shift from Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CTV to Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on the A’s, for a two-day pre-release as it fills a slot vacated during the Olympics’ by NBC’s Law & Order: SVU.

CTV will shift its entire lineup to the A’s on Wednesday nights, including powerhouse hits Criminals Minds and American Idol, as A fare like America’s Next Top Model is off the air until March.

CTV shows will also feature on the A’s Thursday nights, including CSI and Grey’s Anatomy. Programmers avoided a conflict between Grey’s and Fox’s Fringe on A while the latter is on hiatus during the Olympics. Fox is replacing Fringe starting Feb. 11 with Past Life, which the A’s will air Friday night at 10 p.m. out of simulcast.

ABC’s Flash Forward is also on a scheduling break, returning March 4, while The Mentalist will replace Private Practice at 10 p.m. Thursdays.

Beginning March 1, CTV and A will return to their regular schedules. Cosentino says both nets will promote the two-week plan so A viewers can settle back into the normal schedule post-Olympics.

CTV will also stream its popular shows online post-broadcast during the Games in case viewers require catch-up.

From Playback Daily