Upfronts 2016: Proven formats lead Corus specialty sked

Top Chef Canada All-Stars, Real Housewives of Toronto and The Bachelorette Canada are among the shows coming to the media co's channels in the fall.

Long the term not to be spoken, last night at the Rogers Media upfront, Colette Watson, VP of programming television and operations, Rogers Media, mentioned pick-and-pay publicly on stage when going through the network’s schedule.

And Corus Entertainment clearly had the upcoming regulatory changes in mind when it developed its schedule for 2016/17, leaning its original productions heavily on proven audience-friendly formats.

The media co announced its slate of new shows this morning, ahead of its Thursday upfront presentation.

The emphasis on proven formats is heaviest with the media co’s unscripted programming. Starting with Food Network Canada, the channel will see the introduction of Top Chef Canada All-Stars bowing in early 2017.

Slice will add Real Housewives of Toronto, promising a drama-filled inside-look at the lives of some of the city’s wealthiest women.

Also new to Slice will be Style Factory, an original program that looks at how fashion and beauty products are made.

W Network will launch its previously announced show, The Bachelorette Canada, this fall.

HGTV Canada will dive deeper in to the lives of its stars with new shows, including Bryan Inc., Moving the McGillivrays and Holmes and Holmes.

History channel is also adding two new originals, with Airport: Below Zero featuring Edmonton’s airport and Billy Goes North, another new original featuring a proven star, Billy Bretherton. That series follows Bretherton’s altercations with Canadian “pests, critters and gnarly animals” as an exterminator.

YTV has two new Canadian originals hitting the channel. First is Drive Me Crazy, a reality series that follows unlicensed drivers and their parents/teachers on a test. Also new is Ride, which follows Katherine “Kit” Bridges as she moves to England for her father’s new job at an elite boarding school.

Corus has also confirmed new seasons of the integration-filled hit Home to Win, as well as Leave it to Bryan, Timber Kings, Property BrothersChopped Canada and You Gotta Eat Here!, will be included in its 2016/17 schedule.

New scripted programs hitting Corus’ channels next year include SIX, a drama inspired by real missions of SEAL Team Six, written by William Broyles (Castaway, Apollo 13, Jarhead). The show will air on History.

Also joining History’s lineup is Knightfall, a drama executive produced by Jeremy Renner that delves into the true accounts of the Knights Templar.

Showcase’s lineup will feature two new series. First up is Incorporated, a thriller from executive producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon about a young executive that conceals his identity to infiltrate a dangerous corporate world to save his partner.

Also new on Showcase is Travelers, which jumps hundreds of years into the future where the last surviving humans are discovering how to send consciousness back through time. The Vancouver-based series stars Canadian Eric McCormack (Will & Grace).

New on W Network will be dark comedy My So Called Wife (working title), which centres on a con artist that gets men and women to fall in love with her, and then takes their money.

And W Network has greenlit a new season of The Good Witch, the series that has proven to be a ratings hit on W Network. It is going to season three on the channel and production on a two-part Halloween special will begin this August. The Good Witch franchise marks its 10th anniversary with the greenlight: its first iteration as an MOW launched in 2006 (it would be followed by six more).

Returning to Corus’ specialty schedule on the scripted side will be a new season of Mr. Robot on Showcase, which bows July 13. Supergirl is moving from Global to Showcase for its sophomore season, which will be produced by the CW after being dropped by CBS. And Vikings returns with season five on History in 2017.

With files from Katie Bailey