CTV announces new specialty shows

Mike Tyson is pigeon racing while Man vs. Wild's Bear Grylls shows urbanites how to escape from dangerous situations.

CTV announced a slate of new specialty programming yesterday, from how-to shows about surviving the urban jungle on Discovery, to more literary pursuits with a docu-series about Canadian novels on Bravo!

BNN is adding two new programs to its schedule – Stock and Awe (8 X 30) aims to teach young professionals who are no longer charmed by the bohemian life to surf the stock market. Viewers will be accompanied by host Hilary Doyle, a woman who is trying to shed debt and earn enough money to live on.

The other new program on the business network is Elevator Pitch (weekly, 30 minutes), which allows entrepreneurs who are on the hunt for early-stage investors to give a two-minute pitch to a panel of venture capitalists.

Both shows target adults aged 25 to 64 and are open to sponsorship ideas and opportunities. Scheduling info is not yet confirmed.

Mike Tyson’s program about pigeon racing is scheduled for next winter, despite PETA’s illegal gambling accusations against the former heavyweight champion. In Animal Planet’s Taking on Tyson (1 X 60, but with the potential to become a series) Tyson explores the world of pigeon auctions, clubs and veterinarian surgeons that keep the pigeon racing industry afloat. Target demo is families – adults aged 25 to 54 and youths, aged two to 17.

Discovery World HD also has a famous actor on board next season. Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, which airs Mondays at 9 p.m. starting Aug. 2, features the vocally soothing actor as he explores some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, such as whether there is life on other planets and where human beings came from. Through the Wormhole (8 X 60) targets a male-skewing demo, aged 25 to 54.

On Discovery Channel, Worst Case Scenario (12 X 30) will show urbanites how to escape from potentially life-threatening situations, such as a high-rise apartment building fire or a sinking car. Based on guidebooks by Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls, Worst Case will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting Sept. 1.

Breakout (18 X 60) is about real-life dangerous criminals who outsmart jail security. Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. starting Nov. 3, breakout reveals the cat-and-mouse chase that ensues between the convicts and police officers who are trying to capture them. Both Breakout and Worst Case Scenario align with Discovery’s male-skewing demo, aged 18 to 44.

On Bravo!, the literary crowd might get excited about new series Great Canadian Books (13 X 30), which discusses the favourite novels of well-known Canadian personalities such as Justin Trudeau, Mary Walsh and Rex Harrington. Targeting adults aged 25 to 54, Great Canadian Books will air Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.

Star! will add The Marilyn Denis Show, a mix of lifestyle and celebrity targeting adults aged 25 to 54, which will air Mondays through Fridays starting Sept. 20. The show, which also airs on CTV, is open for sponsorship opportunities with details to be announced.