Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Citytv: Making 'em Laugh

I spent yesterday afternoon listening to a gaggle of City stars gurgling on about their new fall TV wares.
And City's lineup for the new season is pretty impressive.
For one thing I got to gaze at the beauty which is Eva Longoria.
I hadn't met her since she visited T.O. to tub thump her series Desperate Housewives way back when Logoria was just another promising pretty face. The year was 2004.
Now she's a mega TV star and how strange that her next series is going to be a Canadian made adult animation series called Mother Up! in which she voices the worst mom around.
Longoria told a gaggle of TV scribes it's nothing personal --she doesn't have kids of her own.
"She just has no parenting skills at all," she laughed.
Another promising Canadian offering is the new sitcom Package Deal in which three brothers must decide what to do when one gets a girlfriend.
It was good seeing Harlan Williams again --I once interviewed the talented Canadian comic on the set of Geena Davis's quite awful U.S. sitcom.
This time out he got some laughs at the presentation with his inventive shtick.
The bits that City showed us seemed chock full of possibilities.
City also renewed its freshman semi-hit Sperm starring Adam Korson as multiple sperm bank donor Harry and some of the children he has had with various willing femmes.
City will also begin production in the fall of a second season of Bachelor Canada.
Other new home grown product includes the reality series The Project: Guatemala hosted by marathon runner Ray Zahab in which nine well off young Canadians are tricked into participating in a new reality show --instead they find they've signed up to construct a new orphanage in Guatemala.
And there's the new hourlong reality opus Meet The Family based on the British TV hit Meet The Parents. The premise has a new love interest going to the home of a girlfriend or boyfriend and finding a family that is truly obnoxious. But relax --these are played by actors and they can become very nasty and annoying in a short time.
Then there's the inevitable spin off  titled Storage Wars Canada set in the Toronto region. And we got to meet cast members who already were bickering on stage! I wonder if this version will avoid the rumors in the U.S. versions that items get planted in storage lockers to produce a more dramatically interesting story line?
Other big news: City has nabbed The Grammy Awards for the next three years.
Other new comedy series nabs include the sitcom Mom starring Anna Faris, Dads starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi, Brooklyn Nine-Nine a cops comedy with Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, Rebel Wilson in Super Fun Night, a gal buddy thing, The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar about a father and daughter in advertising, Enlisted, a military thing with Geoff Stults.
New drama series acquisitions include Matt Long in Lucky 7 (about lottery winners), Nashville  (moving over from CTV), Once Upon A Time In Wonderland with Sophie Lowe as Alice,  Hanna Ware and Stuart Townsend in Betrayal,.
Also there'll be a live broadcast of The Sound Of Music on December 5 as a holiday treat.
But the biggest star strutting around was James Wolk who has stolen whole scenes this past season on Mad Men as conniving Bob Benson.
The mood was certainly upbeat at the presentation before key advertisers. Last week City announced it was dumping CityNews Channel after only 20 months on the air. Also slashed was the English language South asian newscast on OMNI.
Canadian content appears to be growing and the sitcoms with Williams and Samberg could become big breakout hits.

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