A few weeks ago, the Broadcast Research Council of Canada presented their annual mid-season TV reviews with The National Post’s TV critic, Scott Stinson, and MSN’s Entertainment Editor, Joan Porter. They gave us a Canadian perspective on the year so far, and provided insights on replacement shows.
Here are 10 new shows airing in Canada this winter, along with a short synopsis of each one, to help you pick the right ones for your media buy . Enjoy!
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#1 Masterchef Canada CTV, Mondays 8-9 pm
Food lovers around the world recognize Masterchef as one of the most-successful primetime entertainment formats. Produced in over 40 countries, people worldwide watch the show in more than 200 territories.
Masterchef Canada is an opportunity for Canadian amateur chefs to develop their culinary skills as they compete for the Masterchef Canada title. In keeping with the Masterchef format, the contestants face both individual and team-based cooking challenges. The judges eliminate one or more home cooks each week, until Canada’s first Masterchef is finally crowned.
Here are Claudio Aprile, Michael Bonacini and Alvin Leung, talking about being judges on the first Masterchef Canada:
#2 Intelligence CTV, Mondays 10-11 pm
Intelligence is a dramatic thriller starring Josh Holloway as Gabriel, a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, he is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid with complete access to Internet, telephone, and satellite data. He is able to hack into any data center and access key intelligence in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies.
Leading the elite government cyber-security agency created to support him is Director Lillian Strand, a straightforward, efficient boss who oversees the unit’s missions. Strand assigns Riley Neal, a Secret Service agent, to protect Gabriel from outside threats, as well as from his appetite for reckless, unpredictable behavior and disregard for protocol.
#3 The Best Laid Plans CBC, Mondays 9-10 pm
Based on author Terry Fallis’ award-winning novel of the same name, The Best Laid Plans, is a humorous and satirical journey into the world of national politics and backroom maneuvering of Canadian government.
Parliament is a secret and esoteric world with its own culture, customs and language. The Best Laid Plans is a rollicking journey into this cosseted world. Our guide is the earnest, hopeful Daniel Addison, head speechwriter for the Leader of the Opposition. When Daniel catches his girlfriend and her boss in flagrante delicto, he decides to return to academe as assistant professor of English at the University of Ottawa.
However, you do not just walk away from the Opposition Party — freedom has a price. In this case, it is finding a candidate in a riding 50 kilometers away and managing the campaign in the next election, scheduled in approximately eight weeks. The catch: the riding in question has voted solidly for the Government Party since Confederation and the incumbent is Eric Cameron, the extremely popular finance minister whose plurality in the last election was over 90%.
Author Terry Fallis talks to Jonas Chernick and Kenneth Walsh about how their performances redefined the way he thinks about his Best Laid Plans characters.
#4 Killer Women City, Tuesdays, 10-11 pm
Of all the notorious officers who ever patrolled the violent Texas frontier, none is more storied than the Texas Rangers. But being a female ranger in this elite squad is not going to stop ballsy Molly Parker. She is committed to finding the truth and serving justice. She is even willing to break some rules to get it done.
While law enforcement colleagues who want to see Molly fail surrounded her, there are those within the Rangers who have her back, including her boss, Company Commander Luis Zea. Molly also has the support of her family, including brother Billy and his wife, Becca.
Take a look:
#5 Chicago PD Global, Wednesdays, 10-11 pm
From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf and the team behind Chicago Fire comes Chicago PD. This riveting police drama is about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department's District 21 who put it all on the line to protect their community.
District 21 includes two distinctly different groups. On the one hand are the uniformed cops who patrol the beat and go head-to-head with the city's street crimes. On the other is the Intelligence Unit that combats the city's major offenses—organized crime, drug trafficking, high profile murders and more.
The vast responsibilities that these jobs entail extend far beyond the walls of the precinct, often taking an emotional toll on the personal lives of these men and women.
#6 Mother Up! City, Thursdays 930-10 pm
Mother up! is an adult-animated comedy series about a former big city music executive turned suburban mom. The show chronicles the misguided attempts at parenthood of Rudi Wilson (voiced by Eva Longoria), a disgraced former music executive, as she transitions from the towers of Manhattan to the carpool line of suburbia, where she finds herself alone and hopelessly under-equipped to manage her two kids and new life.
#7 Rake Global, Thursdays 9-10 pm
Rake is a legal drama starring Greg Kinnear as Keegan Deane, a brilliant criminal defense attorney with no filter and no shame. He is a loveable loser with a variety of very complex relationships in his life, including mounting debt with his bookie, an ongoing battle with the IRS, a competent assistant who is always there to clean up his mess, and two friends who are often his opponents in the courtroom.
#8 Enlisted City, Fridays 9:30-10 pm
Enlisted is an irreverent and heartfelt single-camera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-camera_setup comedy about three brothers on a small Florida Army post and the group of misfits who surround them.
Charming, funny and a natural-born leader, Staff Sergeant Pete Hill was on a path for a successful military career until one mistake overseas got him booted stateside to Fort McGee, the post in Florida where his two younger brothers are stationed. Now, as their platoon sergeant, Pete must serve both as big brother and military boss.
#9 Four Rooms CBC, Sundays at 8:00 pm
The premise of Four Rooms is simple: members of the public come from across Canada with prized possessions they think could be worth a fortune. Waiting in four rooms are Canada’s top buyers, each of them ready to spend BIG money on whatever comes through their doors.
But there is a catch.
Sellers can only visit one buyer at a time and if they turn down an offer, it is off the table for good, there is no going back.
Here is a sneak peak:
#10 Resurrection City, Sundays at 9:00 pm
An eight-year old American boy wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, Missouri, and an Immigration agent takes him there.
An elderly couple who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago, occupies the home he claims as his own. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. Those closest to the family try to unravel this mystery, including Sheriff Fred Langston, whose wife drowned 30 years ago while trying to save Jacob. Premieres on March 9th.
As you can see from the above list, many of the new programs are dramas. And except for Masterchef Canada and Four Rooms, there are no new reality shows, although this format remains popular. According to the BRC, we will continue to see a trend towards shorter TV seasons. It is a positive development since plot lines will not be diluted to keep the story moving for an extended period and, as a result, we will see more compelling TV.
Jodi Graham, Key Account Buyer
Liza Shepherd, Associate Key Account Buyer