CTV is bringing back the Thursday night comedy block, as well as a “superhuman” family viewing hour at 8 p.m., and enough superheroes to keep tights manufacturers in business for the foreseeable future.
In addition to its previously announced acquisition of nine new dramas and two comedies, the Bell Media network also announced at Thursday’s upfront presentation that it has picked up two new shows that aired on rival networks last season.
The Will Arnett sitcom The Millers comes to CTV from Global, and will form part of the new Thursday comedy block. The former City property Resurrection – which became dispensable when City parent Rogers acquired NHL rights – will air Sundays at 9 p.m. It will be replaced mid-season by another new series, American Crime, starring Penelope Ann-Miller, Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton.
Eschewing the standard TV boast that network X is home to comedy, drama, men, women, etcetera, Phil King, president of CTV, sports and entertainment programming, described CTV as the home of “hit television, delivering mass audiences every night of the week, in every timeslot, in every genre.
“It’s the result of programming diversity, scheduling balance and staying ahead of trends, all of which are represented in our new schedule,” he said.
Network brass introduced “the power of heroes” as one of the central themes for the 2014/15 season, building on an audience trend that began with Arrow two years ago.
CTV’s superhero-packed schedule includes the new Batman prequel, Gotham, Mondays at 8 p.m., where CTV hopes it will benefit from having new episodes of The Big Bang Theory as its 7:30 p.m. lead-in for the first five weeks.
Another superhero newcomer, The Flash, will air at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, while the returning Arrow will air at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Flash was first introduced during an episode of Arrow last season, creating possible crossover potential between the two series.
Another new superhuman drama, Forever – about an immortal medical examiner – will air Mondays at 9 p.m., leading into Castle.
CTV will also show the second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a new timeslot (9 p.m. Tuesday), with the Captain America spinoff Marvel’s Agent Carter (featuring Hayley Atwell reprising her big screen role as Peggy Carter) arriving in mid-season.
The Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. move was one of several timeslot changes announced by CTV: The Amazing Race moves from its longstanding Sunday 8 p.m. timeslot to Fridays, while Grey’s Anatomy moves to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (one day ahead of its U.S. broadcast) and CSI moves to Sunday at 10 p.m.
CTV’s fall schedule will carry 19 hours of primetime programming in simulcast with U.S. networks.
The network also introduced its slate of Canadian programming, including the third season of Saving Hope, Masterchef Canada, Motive and a second season of the Dave Foley PR sitcom Spun Out (which was renewed today).
The network’s new family hour will offer what it called “broad-based co-viewing” programming every night at 8 p.m., anchored by its superhero series as well as The Big Bang Theory, The Amazing Race and Once Upon a Time (which will air in simulcast for the first time).
That will be complemented by a full slate of 10 p.m. dramas (CTV claims to have won the 10 p.m. timeslot on six of seven nights last season).
The Thursday night comedy block, meanwhile, begins with a simulcast episode of The Big Bang Theory at 8 p.m., followed by The Millers at 8:30 p.m. and Two and a Half Men, which moves to a new 9 p.m. timeslot for its final season.
Newcomer The McCarthys will air at 9:30 p.m., before a transition to drama with How to Get Away With Murder, a new series starring Viola Davis (The Help) and created by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy).
The CTV lineup boasts at least one top-10 series among adults 25-54 every night of the week, including Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds and CSI – which moves to Sunday’s at 10 p.m. before the spinoff CSI: Cyber takes over the timeslot in mid-season.
CTV Two will feature 12 hours of primetime simulcast, headlined by the competition series Dancing With the Stars on Sundays and The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The 80s-set sitcom The Goldbergs joins the CTV Two lineup, where it will be paired with the Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management to form a new Tuesday night comedy block.
Another new series, the Debra Messing-led family drama The Mysteries of Laura, will air Wednesdays at 8 p.m., leading into the long-running dream Law & Order: SVU. Thursdays feature cult and fan favourites Vampire Diaries and Reign, while Fridays will feature the competition series Masterchef Junior and Shark Tank at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively, both in simulcast.