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  1. #1
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    Canadian Networks Cancel TV Upfront Events Amid Pandemic

    Canadian Networks Cancel TV Upfront Events Amid Pandemic

    "The Upfronts were an expensive exercise that weren't really necessary," Doug Murphy, CEO of Corus Entertainment, told analysts on Wednesday.

    As the COVID-19 crisis puts the brakes on local advertising buys, Canadian TV networks continue to follow their U.S. peers in cancelling plans for their annual Upfront presentations in Toronto.

    Corus Entertainment, a traditional buyer of American series at the annual Los Angeles Screenings, on Wednesday became the latest Canadian broadcaster to cancel its in-person Upfront presentation to local advertisers.

    Corus CEO Doug Murphy told analysts on a morning call following the release of his second quarter financial results that, while there was little visibility on the nature and duration of the coronavirus impact, immediate cost-cutting at his company included the "elimination of all discretionary or non-essential expenses such as our annual Upfront."

    Rival Rogers Media, another package buyer of new U.S. studio shows, said it too will bypass a live Upfront presentation for the second year in a row. And Bell Media, the top-rated Canadian broadcaster, told THR it was "still in discussions about how we'll present our Upfront."

    That's as Canadian politicians and public health officials have warned against mass events with large crowds, which is typical of glitzy Upfront presentations. Unlike other foreign buyers, the Canadians buy on the hop during their annual Los Angeles Screenings in May before rushing back to Toronto to unveil their fall primetime schedules at their own upfront presentations in early June.

    The Canadian Upfronts also follow quickly after the U.S. Upfront presentations in May as prime time schedules north of the U.S. border where possible mirror those of the Americans networks so they can simulcast hit American shows to boost ad revenue.

    But with North American travel bans and a deepening advertising recession brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, Corus CEO Murphy on Wednesday questioned the future of the Canadian's annual shopping expedition in Hollywood before in-person presentations for local advertisers in Toronto.

    "The Upfront cycle in Canada is something that all of us, the broadcasters, have talked over the last year about why we are doing that," he told analysts. "In the U.S., it's a bit of a different animal. They have a different buying process. In Canada, one could have argued prior to the COVID crisis that the Upfronts were an expensive exercise that weren't really necessary," he added.

    Murphy also discussed possibly bypassing the traditional rotating screenings of U.S. network pilots on Hollywood studio lots this year, before the green light for package buying of rookie shows by the Canadians is flashed. "We'll find ways to screen our new shows, probably digitally," he said.

    Also complicating just how wide the Canadians will open their wallets for new and returning U.S. shows this year is the major studios closing down or delaying production on pilot series destined for sale on global broadcast and streaming platforms.

    Murphy told analysts most Hollywood studios have reduced their season show orders, and much depended on individual titles and creative pedigree and at what stage production was at before shutting down or being postponed.

    "The U.S. situation is very disparate. You have hotspots in Florida, Georgia. California is in lockdown. We all know about New York," he added, as he described the U.S. production landscape.

    "Given the size of the investment that the U.S. studios make in their content, there's a wide variety of potential outcomes that we could experience. That will be more apparent as the months tick on," Murphy said as Corus remains in contact with its Hollywood suppliers on likely scenarios.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...medium=twitter

  2. #2
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    That was a no-brainer. During the usual cycle, new productions gets their pilot order in january from the network, principal casting in february, starts filming in march-april, post-production until beginning of may.

    The whole covid-19 blew up on Friday the 13th, so there won't be much footage to show at the US Upfronts by mid-may, a 10-minutes presentation at best for those started filming early. Productions requiring lot of post-production work such as sci-fi, fantasy or animation/live-action blend, won't have much material to impress the advertisers or the network.

    Also, why move key people in the business around to a theater in order to screen pilots in real time when they can access all this online, in 2020, with an auth/pass access?

    Public health is currently more important than money and having something new on TV next fall for entertainment purposes.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    That was a no-brainer. During the usual cycle, new productions gets their pilot order in january from the network, principal casting in february, starts filming in march-april, post-production until beginning of may.

    The whole covid-19 blew up on Friday the 13th, so there won't be much footage to show at the US Upfronts by mid-may, a 10-minutes presentation at best for those started filming early. Productions requiring lot of post-production work such as sci-fi, fantasy or animation/live-action blend, won't have much material to impress the advertisers or the network.
    Well, that goes a long way to explaining why CBS decided to fill potential lost air time in prime time with its recent decision to revive showing feature films in prime time (i.e. the CBS Sunday Night Movie). The other networks might follow suit if this works for CBS.

  4. #4
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    With all US network scheduled now announced, we can assume Canadian Network will announced their in a couple of weeks maybe?

    Most network, except Fox and the CW have very similar schedule than last year is pretty straightforward for Canadian nets.

    Only a couple of question marks. Thursdays with the new Law & Order: Organized Crime could go anywhere. CTV has SVU but Global got the most recent Universal shows and did get the one and off Law & Order Trial By Jury. But Since Global already has Evil to simulcast they might not take it or put it at 9pm or simulcast it and move Evil at 9pm. With SVU and Organized crime in the same city and universe will most likely crossover a few times, it would be weird if SVU on CTV stays at 10pm so they can simulcast GA at 9pm and OC at the same time on Global.

    A bit of a headache to program in the fall, especially since CTV2 has the NFL game. What would make more sence is if CTV loans SVU to City so they can simulcast SVU at 9pm, OC at 10pm on Global. Evil out of simulcast at 9pm. But then CTV has nothing at 10pm, unless they swap SVU for A Million Little Things. Which would make most sence again, but AMLT probably won't match SVU's rating, Even by moving to CTV.

    For the new shows, Big City will certainly be on CTV Tuesday at 10pm, The Equalizer goes to Global, Sundays at 8pm. neXT and Filthy Rich already CTV's shows, most likely both in pre-realse and hour earlier 8pm rather than 9pm wehere CTV has All Rise and This is Us already to simulcast. Comedies B Positive and Call Your Mother (Warner and Sony are likely for CTV to take or refuse before anyone else can buy them. With comedies it's very unpredictable.

  5. #5
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    All networks except The CW has been optimistic about resuming production and have complete episodes ready for the fall.

    NBC never had success with canadian series (remember The Firm, Saving Hope, Listener), pushing some episodes a week, and another, maybe burning an episode between Xmas and New Year, and taking it off the schedule blaming the ratings. CTV's Transplant has the NBC International logo at the end credit, NBC picked it up last month and pushed it to mid-season. If september is a disaster, I can see Transplant being moved to fall, but it's a goner as soon as new episodes of original series are ready, therefor I don't think americans will get to see the season finale on TV, maybe on Peacock streaming service.

    The CW announced summer premiere dates, CBC's Coroner premieres Aug 5th, which is a sign of low expectation, and if I understand correctly, the network plans on airing all 16 episodes, 8 per season, so by calculations its season finale should fall on Dec 2nd, 2020.

    Remember when CTV announced new mystery 8-parter series "Albedo" last spring, starring Evangeline Lilly? Me neither, but there's been no update since.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtlguy View Post
    Only a couple of question marks. Thursdays with the new Law & Order: Organized Crime could go anywhere.
    Mystery solved, it's on Citytv.

    Fan-Favourite Franchises. Beloved Stars. Citytv Delivers “The Rock” Solid 2020/21 Schedule

    New comedies join the Citytv slate with Young Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Mr. Mayor (Ted Danson).
    Plus, follow the Alaskan adventures of the Tobin family in The Great North, as a single dad does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close. (Fox animation)
    http://www.rogersmediatv.ca/pr_detail.php?id=1529

    A Million Little Things in pre-release at 9pm, Mom in pre-release at 8pm, L&O in simulcast at 10pm.
    Last edited by InMontreal; 06-22-2020 at 05:37 PM.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

  7. #7
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    COMING SOON: GLOBAL’S NEW AND RETURNING SERIES FOR 2020/2021
    https://www.corusent.com/news/global-2020-upfront/

    New Chuck Lorre Comedy Joins 18 Hit Series Returning to CTV This Fall
    https://www.bellmedia.ca/the-lede/pr...ctv-this-fall/

    Voilą. Not even sure if CHCH / IndieNet has something to offer...

    --------

    Global hasn't pickup or taken over any 30-mins comedies. Superstore ain't mentionned whatsoever, CBS moved Unicorn to 9:30pm, FBI Most Wanted airs in pre-release mondays 8pm, therefor CBS's Neighborhood will be paired with Unicorn thursdays in post-release. Departure is a CA/UK coproduction, and contains only 6-episodes, so depending on production and episodes availability of other shows, it can start anytime.

    Also noteworthy, the infographist took an old photo photo for MacGytver, that one still includes George Eads who left midway season 3.

    Bell Media's schedule makes zero mention of CTV Two. They passed on simsubbing Spectrum's LA's Finest with Fox mondays 8pm. Tuesdays 10pm is open. American Housewive saturdays at 8pm. The Goldbergs are missing. Schedule is pretty stable.
    Last edited by InMontreal; 06-23-2020 at 11:42 AM.
    We had a good run: 2006 to 2020. Thanks for the informations and debates.

 

 

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