Bell Media gets Satisfaction, Spun Out pilots for CTV


Bell Media is stacking comedy on its roster.

The company announced Thursday pilot orders for two original half-hour comedies backed by Canadian talent that has heavy stateside experience, Satisfaction and Spun Out, for CTV. It also unveield a Just For Laughs comedy gala series lineup, and a revival of ’60s game show Match Game for The Comedy Network.

Ensemble comedy Satisfaction will be produced by Halifax-based DHX Media and is written by Tim McAuliffe (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Up All Night) and exec produced by Michael Donovan (Bowling for Columbine, This Hour Has 22 Minutes).

The series focuses on a twenty-something couple and the friend they invite to live with them to help them pay rent, and the issues around friendships, relationships, freedom and commitment which emerge as a result.

And CTV’s first multi-cam comedy, Spun Out, from Toronto-based Project 10 Productions, is co-created, written and exec produced by Jeff Biederman (Life With Derek) and Brent Piaskoski (According to Jim). Brian K. Roberts is co-creator, director and exec producer. Andrew Barnsley (Hot Box) also exec produces.

Spun Out features a writer who turns to a PR agency to put a positive spin on his misbehaviours, only to start working there himself.

The two series are slated to begin shooting in the fall in Toronto.

Just for Laughs

And for the Comedy Network, the company also disclosed a multi-year deal with Just For Laughs, which includes broadcasts of the galas from the upcoming 30th anniversary season of Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival.

The CBC confirmed to Playback that it will, however, continue to carry its usual slate of JFL programming, including a two-hour event special celebrating the JFL fest’s 30th anniversary, and another two one-hour specials throughout the year, according to CBC’s English services media relations rep Chris Ball.

Footage for the Comedy Network gala series will be shot at the upcoming JFL festival this July, including The Muppets All-Star Comedy Gala and Canadian comedy stars Debra DiGiovanni and Caroline Rhea, to be aired on the network in the fall.

“This new series will deliver the full festival experience to our viewers like never before – both galas and club performances,” says Bell Media senior VP of independent production Corrie Coe in a statement.

The gala series, produced by Just For Laughs Television in association with The Comedy Network, will be exec produced by Bruce Hills, Any Nulman and Gilbert Rozon.

Match Game

And Bell Media also grabbed the rights from FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) to the English-language revival of game show Match Game.

Montreal-based Zone3 is set to shoot a 60-ep order of the half-hour series, based on FME’s international format, which has seen local versions produced in the U.K., Australia, the Netherlands and Germany.

The series was first broadcast in 1962, featuring contestants attempting to match celebrities’ answers to fill-in-the-blank questions.

According to a release from Bell Media, the revamped local version of Match Game will act as a launching platform for Canuck comedic talent, with casing currently underway for a rotating panel of six comedians and a host.

Match Game will be executive produced by Isabelle Bourduas and Michael Kronish, with Martha Kehoe producing.

 With files from Matthew Sylvain