Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Shaw Media: The Momentum Is Upward
Considerably more press attended Shaw Media's fall preview than City's the day before.
That's because Shaw has made a real impact on the media landscape.
The media giant rolled out a stay-pat schedule for its Global network.
Such top American TV hits as Bones, NCIS, NCIS; LA, Chicago Fire, Glee, Hawaii 5-0, Parenthood and The Good wife are back.
Indeed in the case of its Sunday night adult animation series --The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy and American Dad the format has mostly remained the same for many years.
Global senior easily into the Global schedule.
This fall Global will be simulcasting 14 hours of U.S. series out of a grand total of 21 hours of prime time programming a week.
Williams says she's very high on the new sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show in which the veteran star plays a dad struggling with Parkinsons. She also likes the new sitcom The Millers showcasing Josh Arnett as a divorced guy living with his divorced mom.
Other new acquisitions include the reboot of Ironside starring Blair Underwood.
He told press guests he got into the mood by watching episodes of the original Raymond Burr series.
"But ours is different --we're shooting in New York and my character isn't desk bound but on the streets with an elite squad --while in a wheel chair.
"It's not a remake at all."
Global also bought the spin off of Chicago Fire called Chicago PD. Rake is a new series with Greg Kinnear as a criminal defense attorney whereas Reckless is a legal drama starring Cam Gigandet (The O.C.) and Georgina Haif (Fringe).
Later on there'll be a 12-episode return of Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day. And John Malkovich will star in the short term series Crossbones as legendary pilot Blackbeard.
Another short termer Dracula will star Jonathan Rhys Meyer.
Williams says the return of the family sitcom is one trend for the fall.
Another is the return of "event TV" --short run series like the great miniseries of the past. that create a vast audience.
At the Q and A Williams was asked the inevitable question about the fate of Global's highly popular Canadian series Bomb Girls which the network cancelled after only two seasons.
Williams promised a two-hour TV movie will tie up all the plot strands --but that's not what the fans want. They've been busy signing petitions to keep the well made show going.
Says Williams: "It was originally conceived as a six part miniseries. Then we did 12 more the second season."
But there are are no scripted Canadian drama series on the fall Global schedule at all.
In fact Global does have some fine scripted Canadian dramas --Rookie Blue is currently running and on Shaw cable networks there are Vikings, Lost Girl and Continuum. All have been picked up for another season.
Williams says she's ordered two more: from veteran producer Bernie Zuckerman comes Remedy which is set in a hospital but concerns all the staff just not the doctors.
And Global has also commissioned Working The Engles from Jane and Katie Ford (Material World)
a comedic look at a family trying to keep their legal business going.
Williams also pointed to the 600 hours of original Canadian content programming commissioned for such specialty channels as Showcase and HGTV.
One of the strangest new series In The Thicke Of It will star Canadian Alan Thicke and his Bolivean wife Tanya Callau.
"I'm Alan and this is not," quipped Thicke as he pointed to his wife.
He described his show as a weird cross of Larry David and The Kardashians.
Global also trotted out a slimmed down Queen Latifah who was promoting new new daily talk show.
And Soap opera queen Susan Lucci chattered about her new series Devious Maids which will rev up in the second season.
Dean McDermott said he was glad to be back in T.O. as host of Chopped Canada (on Food).
And Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii 5-0) and Jessalyn Gilsig (Vikings) and Canadian Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist) also made appearances.
Global has also reached out to Twitter Canada's Kirsten Stewart to join up on Twitter Amplify --the platform will take advertising as well as programming clips.
And Shaw also has another new lifestyle specialty channel called DTOUR. New shows include Rock My RV With Bret Michaels and Hotel Impossible.
All in all Shaw is on quite a roll.