CTV in ’99/00

CTV's '99/2000 season promises the return of four Canadian drama series along with two to debut this fall. Coming back are Cold Squad, Nikita, Power Play and The City, along with newcomers Twice in a Lifetime and Little Men....

CTV’s ’99/2000 season promises the return of four Canadian drama series along with two to debut this fall. Coming back are Cold Squad, Nikita, Power Play and The City, along with newcomers Twice in a Lifetime and Little Men.

Twice in a Lifetime is a 22-part anthology series from Pebblehut Lifetime. Each one-hour episode focuses on a dead character who returns to life to reroute his/her misguided past.

Produced by Alliance Atlantis Communications, Little Men, a 13-part series based on the 1871 novel by Louisa May Alcott, chronicles the life of Jo Bhaer (Michelle Rene Thomas) as she deals with the death of her husband and running a boarding school for boys.

While returning series Cold Squad (Keatley MacLeod/aac) Power Play (aac/Serendipity Point) and The City (Sarrazin Couture) will be revamped next season, the two new series replace Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and Due South (both aac).

But Due South’s Paul Gross can still be found on the dial. Portraying former rcmp officer and convicted killer Patrick Kelly, he’ll star in Judas Kiss, one installment of the CTV Canadian Literature Initiative. Based on award-winning journalist Michael Harris’ reportage, Judas Kiss is produced by aac and Two Bridges Entertainment and directed by Alex Chapple.

Others in the initiative are: Deadly Appearances and Murder at the Mendel, both from Shaftesbury Films and both directed by George Bloomfield; and The Bookfair Murders, a Canada/Germany coproduction from Triptych Media and Germany’s TiMe Film und TV Produktions.

CTV Signature Presentations – mows underwritten by a $6-million fund for new Canadian programming – deal with provocative social issues and include Dr. Lucille, a Canada/South Africa coproduction from SDA Productions, and The Sheldon Kennedy Story from Sarrazin Couture and Bradshaw Macleod & Associates.

On the doc front, however, Signature Presentations include Child Poverty, produced by Pamela Wallin’s Current Affairs Group, and Sheldon: A Story of Human Courage from Robert Duncan.

Other Canadian docs include: Barenaked in America, Lord Beaverbrook, The Future of War, The Trial of Freedom, Loyalties, Songs in Stone, The Perfect Hero, BC Bodyslams, Britannia, Ice Girls, Island of Shadows, Sister Kay, and Stealing My Heart.

ctv Canadian programming head Bill Mustos says, ‘In entertainment programming, which includes documentaries, virtually everything is done with independent producers.’

In children’s programming, Nelvana’s Birdz, Mythic Warriors and Flying Rhino Jr. High are returning and Mustos says the network hopes to add more new shows from Nelvana.

According to Reith, ctv provides roughly four hours of Canadian children’s programming, five and a half hours of dramatic series and 10 hours of documentaries.

‘Averaged out at the end of the year in primetime we do 53% to 55% Canadian content,’ says Reith, adding, ‘Over half of that is in drama, specials and variety.’ The crtc requires a minimum of 50% Cancon in primetime and 60% overall.