CTV unveils fall slate

Bell Media has programmed a Thursday comedy power hour and added Charlie Sheen's new show to its upfront schedule.

Bell Media has rolled out its fall 2012 lineup, putting four new programs onto CTV and three new shows on CTV Two.

Kevin Crull, president, Bell Media, tells MiC the media co had 2.5 hours to fill on CTV going into the LA screenings and feels the network got the best show of the season by picking up the Kevin Bacon-starring mid-season drama The Following.

“Fox described the show as the next 24 at their upfront, and we would have to agree,” he says.

The network also got what Crull calls a “scheduling gift from the gods,” when CBS moved Two and a Half Men to Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. in the spot immediately following The Big Bang Theory at 8 p.m. on CTV.

‘We now have the number one and number two comedies in the country going back to back for the biggest hour of comedy,” he says. “We have always had that dangling half hour following Big Bang, so we are excited about how that worked out.”

Phil King, president, CTV programming and sports, Bell Media says he is also excited about the acquisition of former Men star Charlie Sheen’s new comedy Anger Management, running at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night.

Rick Brace, president, specialty channels and CTV production, says getting the new Sheen show is a bit of a coup for the network as it is produced by Lionsgate for F/X, making its assumed Canadian home on Rogers Media’s FX Canada.

“You really do have to peek under the tent when people talk about bringing services into Canada,” he says. “Because unless they’re producing that content themselves, or the parent company is, it’s coming from the same place we get all of our programming, which means a lot of [content up for grabs].”

On CTV, Monday remains largely unchanged, with the performance episode of Dancing with the Stars at 8 p.m. in simulcast and Castle in simulcast at 10 p.m.

The station one-two steps into Tuesday, kicking off with the results show of Dancing with the Stars at 8 p.m., Charlie Sheen returns to CTV at 9 p.m. with his new comedy Anger Management, followed by The New Normal, a new comedy about a male couple who enlist a Midwestern single woman as their surrogate mother. Drama closes the night at 10 p.m. with Criminal Minds.

Wednesday starts with the The X Factor at 8 p.m. in simulcast, followed by CSI in simulcast.

Thursday kicks off with perennial ratings hit The Big Bang Theory at 8 p.m. in simulcast, followed by a moved-from-Monday Two and a Half Men in simulcast at 8:30 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy stays at 9 p.m. and Flashpoint is moved from Tuesday to Thursday night at 10 p.m. for its final season.

Friday remains drama-heavy for CTV, with CSI:NY at 8 p.m., Grimm at 9 p.m. and Blue Bloods at 10 p.m., all in simulcast.

Saturday night keeps Crimetime from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., leading into new comedy The Neighbors at 10 p.m., and Whitney at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday keeps Once Upon a Time at 7 p.m., leading into The Amazing Race in simulcast at 8 p.m., new drama The Mob Doctor at 9 p.m. and The Mentalist at 10 p.m. in simulcast.

The daytime schedule on CTV sees The Ellen Degeneres Show in simulcast going head to head with Citytv’s new Katie Couric talker, Katie at 4 p.m.

On CTV Two, Monday kicks off with the new fall edition of The Voice in simulcast at 8 p.m., followed by an encore episode of the previous week’s Flashpoint at 10 p.m.

Tuesday also leads off with The Voice in simulcast at 8 p.m., followed by new drama Emily Owens, M.D., about a young surgical intern at 9 p.m. Primetime on Tuesday ends with a repeat episode of The Mentalist at 10 p.m.

New DC Comics action-adventure drama Arrow leads off the Wednesday lineup at 8 p.m., Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is in simulcast at 9 p.m. and new musical drama Nashville carries the night out at 10 p.m.

Thursday starts with the results show of The X Factor in simulcast at 8 p.m., The Vampire Diaries is in the 9 p.m. slot and another repeat episode of The Mentalist at 10 p.m.

Friday starts with Shark Tank at 8 p.m., Nikita at 9 p.m. in simulcast and Dateline in simulcast at 10 p.m.

CTV Two’s Saturday night starts with Canadian productions The L.A. Complex at 8 p.m., Saving Hope at 9 p.m. and ends with The Borgias at 10 p.m.

Sunday on CTV Two starts with America’s Next Top Model at 7 p.m., Mike and Molly at 8 p.m., Up All Night at 8:30 p.m. and a CTV Movie at 9 p.m.

Joining the schedule in mid-season is new CTV original drama series Motive (working title) about a Vancouver homicide detective. Also stepping up is Kevin Bacon-starring psychological thriller The Following, paranormal drama Zero Hour, Do No Harm, which is a modern take on Jekyll and Hyde, and cop drama Golden Boy.

Also joining the mid-season lineup is new comedy The Family Tools, about a family-owned handyman business.

On the Cancon front, CTV has Flashpoint, The Listener, Saving Hope and new show Motive on the roster, and King says the network is not finished yet.

“I can assure you we are extremely bullish on our Canadian slate,” he says.

“We’re working on probably two or three other projects right now. We don’t see the Canadian development necessarily having the focus of being ready for this week; it’s a 12-month process of development,” he adds, nothing that Bell will be adding Canadian programming both to CTV and Bell’s specialty channels as well.

On the specialty front, Bell Media VP specialty channels says that the focus will be on getting exclusive programming in the same way that conventional does, starting with the premiere of Dallas on Bravo and Brian Austin Green-starring The Wedding Band on MuchMoreMusic.

“I think that there’s been an attitude about specialty that you’re a second run or a bunch of reruns, and that’s really not the attitude we have,” she says.

“Our philosophy is to make sure that people want specialty channels as much as they want CTV, so we’re looking forward to huge growth,” she adds.

Click here for the full CTV Fall 2012 primetime schedule

MiC asked King to elaborate on what he calls CTV’s “secret sauce” for fall 2012: