January 2008

Monday, January 7
10:30 – 11 p.m. ET – “Newport Harbor: Home for the Holidays” *Finale*

Even though there has been no communications between Chrissy and Clay, they are both beginning to realize that they are meant to be together. In the season finale of “Newport Harbor: Home for the Holidays,” viewers will find out if Chrissy and Clay get back together just in time for the holidays?

Please note that due to security concerns and terror threats surrounding the 2008 Dakar Rally, organizers of the event – the Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) – have opted to cancel this year’s rally. OLN will no longer be airing the event as previously announced.

In a statement released today, the A.S.O. claims its “first responsibility is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. A.S.O. therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally.”

*** Dakar Rally 2008

Sun, Jan. 6 – Mon., Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT (daily coverage)

The Dakar Rally celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2008 and OLN is your home for exclusive coverage, spanning all 16 days of the world-renowned event. Considered by drivers and racing enthusiasts to be the most difficult of all off-road rallies, competitors from the four corners of the globe embark on an almost 6,000 km road and off-road endurance and navigation adventure. This year, don’t miss more than 500 motorcycles, cars and trucks will attempt to traverse lethal desert conditions from Portugal to Morocco in the 2008 edition of The Dakar Rally. ***

Get the Truth Behind the Byline When Word Travels Premieres January 30 on OLN

While travelling to exotic locations and writing about enlightening experiences may sound like an adventurous occupation, the life of a travel writer is not always as glamorous as it seems. Premiering Wed., Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on OLN, Word Travels is a new original Canadian series that follows freelance journalist Robin Esrock and national travel columnist Julia Dimon as they battle deadlines, jetlag, culture shock – and each other – to file the best travel stories possible. Filmed in 12 countries across six continents, each half-hour episode of the 13-part series reveals the real story of professional travel journalism – the truth behind the byline.

Join these two young writers as they travel the world while sleuthing stories, following leads and working to strict deadlines. And while Esrock and Dimon experience the incredible vistas of natural beauty found worldwide, it’s often not the stunning visuals that make the story, but rather the drama behind the scenery. See how cancelled flights, antiquated Internet access, language barriers, strange local cuisines, homesickness and living out of a suitcase are just a few of the occupational hazards Esrock and Dimon face along the way. As they travel from Jordan to the Yukon, Esrock and Dimon discover the fascinating stories behind the people and places that colour their journey across the world. Edited with a music video edge and scored to some of the hottest indie music, this documentary series mirrors the very world it discovers: unpredictable, emotionally charged, breathtaking and full of surprises.

Highlights from the first episodes include:

Word Travels: “Bolivia – High on the Write Stuff”

Wed., Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Travel writers, like all journalists, have different beats. Enjoying the “people” side of a story, Dimon investigates indigenous female wrestling, while Esrock hits the mountains to bike down the world’s most dangerous road. Getting online to file and pitch stories may be a challenge, so it helps to be blessed by Andean priests on Lake Titicaca.

Word Travels: “Ethiopia North – Agreeing to Disagree”

Wed., Feb. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

African stories fill up notebooks in minutes, but before Esrock and Dimon can explore the 12th century rock churches in Lalibela, they have to deal with social issues, mechanical faults and each other’s ethical differences. Esrock tests his theory of the people chain – following unlikely leads to a remarkable story – while Dimon’s shopping savvy is tested to the limits as she bargains for a goat in Africa’s biggest outdoor market.

Word Travels: “Venezuela – Slugging it Out in the Jungle”

Wed., Feb. 13 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

In this episode, the journalists head deep into the Orinoco Delta for a lesson in jungle survival. While Esrock takes the plunge to swim with dolphins, abseil a canyon and catch a piranha dinner, Dimon goes where only few have been before in a hunt for the elusive moriche worm. For each, it’s a journey full of surprises.

Word Travels: “Jordan – Press Trip Cinderellas”

Wed., Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Jordan is a country of contrasts, and so are the personalities of these writers. Dimon lifts the veil to discover the hip bars and malls of modern Amman, while Esrock channels his inner Indiana Jones and gallops into the ancient city of Petra. With posh hotels and five-star feasts in the desert, both relish the luxury of a sponsored press trip.

Law & Order Returns with 1.9 Million Viewers
— Law & Order first of many new shows to debut this January on CTV —

The return of Law & Order kick-started CTV’s January schedule when 1.9 million viewers tuned in to the two-part season premiere last night. Now in its 18th season, Law & Order was the most-watched program of the day nationally among total viewers as well as the key advertising demos A25-54 and A18-49. The program was also #1 among A25-54 in Toronto and Vancouver. The season premiere was up 37% compared to its Season 17 average audience (1.382 million) on CTV.

Earlier in the evening, the return of eTalk to the CTV schedule with the announcement of the cities on the 2008 Canadian Idol Audition Tour delivered 509,000 viewers at 7 p.m., outpacing Entertainment Tonight Canada (456,000) by 12%.

At 8 p.m., an all-new episode of CTV’s Gossip Girl was the most-watched program in the timeslot among A18-34 and delivered almost 600,000 total viewers.

The evening ended with more than one million viewers for The CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson (1.05 million), up 19% over Global National (884,000).

Law & Order is the first of many new programs to debut on CTV this January. Next Monday, January 7, CTV presents the series premiere of Dancing with the Stars spin-off Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Anne (at 9 p.m.) followed by the season premiere of Medium (at 10 p.m.). Before that, CTV presents all-new episodes of ER, Without a Trace, Desperate Housewives and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

CTV Goes Mad for Mad Men

— CTV acquires Seasons 1 & 2 of Golden Globe/SAG nominated series —
– -CTV becomes first conventional broadcaster in the world to air critical favourite —

— Golden Globe nominee Jon Hamm leads cast featuring John Slattery and Robert Morse —

CTV announced today that it has acquired the conventional and specialty channel broadcast rights to the television series that the New York Times says “breaks new ground” and the Wall Street Journal says is “one of the best-written, all around sparkling works to come along in many a season.” Mad Men – recently nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series and frequently mentioned on 2007 year-end Top 10 lists –will make its worldwide conventional network debut on CTV in Canada. Created by Emmy Award winning The Sopranos writer and producer Matthew Weiner, Mad Men joins a mid-season schedule on CTV already brimming with the premieres of 16 new shows and over 200 hours of fresh, new programming. Scheduling details for Mad Men will be announced soon.

CTV has acquired Seasons 1 and 2 of the 13-episode, one-hour series and becomes the first conventional network in the world to broadcast the series following its debut in July of 2007 on American cable network AMC. CTV has also acquired Broadband and VOD rights for Season 2, which has yet to be produced or broadcast.

“It’s fitting that this acquisition comes just days after CTV broadcast the series finale of The Sopranos, which we first brought to conventional television in 2000,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “With creator Matt Weiner, there’s a real pedigree evident in Mad Men that originates directly from The Sopranos. Weiner’s years on The Sopranos has manifested in the experience he brings to this next, great, big buzz show.”

Set in 1960 on New York City’s Madison Avenue, Mad Men is a daring new series about the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Big Apple advertising. The series depicts the sexual exploits and social mores of this most innovative yet ruthless profession, while taking an unflinching look at the ad-men who shaped the hopes and dreams of Americans on a daily basis.

Mad Men has already been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, for “Best Series, Drama” and for “Best Actor in a TV Drama” (Jon Hamm). Hamm was also recently nominated for a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role” while the entire cast was nominated for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.”

Mad Men has taken the critics by storm, landing on dozens of Top 10 lists including those from the American Film Institute and Entertainment Weekly. The Toronto Star named it the #1 TV series of the year and The Globe and Mail noted it was the “great and pleasant surprise of the year.”

Additional praise:

“Mad Men is…must-see TV…Television’s best new drama….Mad Men is out of this world…sumptuously filmed, you could turn down the volume and just watch the suits.”

– Newsweek

“Unmissable…possibly the best new show you’ll see this summer.”
– Time

“A brilliant send-up of the sins of mid-century America.”
– Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

“An evocative new drama.”
– Bill Carter, New York Times

“The sophistication of a feature film…”
– People

“Gorgeous in every way… smart and tremendously attractive.”
– The New Yorker

“So cool it will force you to turn off the air conditioning…The best new show of the summer.”
– New York Post

“Wow…dazzling…sleek, sexy…9 out of 10.”
– TV Guide

Degrassi: The Next Generation Premieres on a New Day, Jan. 14

Heads up Degrassi fans: Season 7 will now premiere in the series’ regular timeslot on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 14 on CTV (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). With 24 brand-new episodes, Degrassi’s biggest season to date, Season 7 picks up in the middle of the school year – where past, present and new Degrassi students are faced with fierce competition, blossoming relationships and new hardships.

The two-part season premiere airs as follows:

Monday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET – “Standing in the Dark, Part 1”

The corridors of Degrassi have become a pressure cooker. With an unexpected influx of students from Lakehurst, Degrassi students find themselves facing old enemies and making new friends. But Darcy has her own problems to worry about. In her final semester of Grade 11, the God-loving Spirit Squad captain finds herself being pulled in two different directions. When she chooses a secret weekend getaway with bad-boy boyfriend Peter over the objections of her parents, Darcy quickly finds herself in an explosive, dangerous situation that will impact her life forever.

Monday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET – “Standing in the Dark, Part 2”

Abstinence-pledged Darcy wakes up in a strange bed, screamingly hung-over. Panic-stricken, she tries to piece together the events of the night before. Meanwhile, Marco’s convinced that he and long-distance love, Dylan, are hunky-dory, but his friends know better. Ellie tries to intervene by introducing Marco to her cute co-worker, Eric, but Marco steadfastly rebuffs his every advance.

CTV Announces Canadian Idol Season 6 Audition Tour Stops
– Instruments again allowed for Auditions –
– Canadian Idol “Easy Access” Auditions return –

CTV has announced details of the sixth cross-country audition tour for Canada’s #1 Summer Series, beginning this month, as the 2008 Audition Tour gets set to kick off Saturday, January 26 at the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton. As announced last night on eTalk, the 10-city tour will cross the country, hitting malls in nine more cities through mid-April. In a Canadian Idol first, the hometown of reigning Idol Brian Melo – Hamilton, Ontario – has been added as a stop on the 2008 Audition Tour.

CTV also announced today that due to the success of the addition of musical instruments last season – a North American first for Idol which will now be seen in the upcoming season of American Idol on CTV– all singer/musicians are once again welcome to audition for Canadian Idol with instruments in 2008.

In 2007, a whopping 42% of gold ticket winners in Season 5 played a musical instrument. “When CTV announced the addition of musical instruments last year, I knew I had to try out,” said Season 5 champion Brian Melo. “I am so grateful that I did! It has changed my life forever. ”

“Canadian Idol continues to defy expectations,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “This show has established itself as the place to be for undiscovered Canadian talent and guest stars alike. We look forward to meeting a new crop of hidden talent this year.”

Auditions will be held in the following 10 cities on the dates listed below. The first four audition venues have been announced; the remaining six venues will be revealed at later dates (all information subject to change).

City Dates Venues
Edmonton, AB January 26/27 West Edmonton Mall
Calgary, AB February 2/3 Sunridge Mall
Vancouver, BC February 9/10 Metropolis at Metrotown
Winnipeg, MB February 23/24 St. Vital Centre
Hamilton, ON March 1/2 To Be Announced
Ottawa, ON March 8/9 To Be Announced
Montreal, QC March 15/16 To Be Announced
Halifax, NS March 29/30 To Be Announced
St. John’s, NL April 12 To Be Announced
Toronto, ON April 19-20 To Be Announced

The 2008 Canadian Idol “Easy-Access” tour continues to make it easy to audition. As in 2007, there is no need to line up, as competitors can choose the day and time they want to try out. Registration is open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on each day of auditions. As well, almost all auditions are scheduled on weekends and most of the auditions will be held at shopping malls.

Auditions for Canadian Idol are open to all Canadians between the ages of 16 and 28 (inclusive) as of January 25, 2008. For more information about Canadian Idol, registration forms, rules and regulations, visit the series’ official website at idol.CTV.ca.

Competitors will be judged evenly on their singing, whether playing instruments or singing a cappella. Those choosing to play an instrument will also be judged on their playing abilities.

Season 6 of Canadian Idol will return to CTV this June, building on the success of its fifth season in 2007, which, once again, was the most-watched program of the summer on Canadian television. The non-simulcast Idol drew 23 per cent more viewers last season than the second most-ranked series on Canadian TV of the summer, America’s Got Talent (CTV/NBC). Last September’s season finale saw nearly five million Canadians tune in to some or all of the broadcast. When Hamilton’s Brian Melo was revealed as the 2007 Canadian Idol champion in the final minutes, a remarkable 2.75 million Canadians were watching.

“School of Rock” – Sunday, January 27th

9:00PM ET/PT on Citytv Toronto and Vancouver

Available in High Definition on CitytvHD Toronto

Starring: Jack Black, Sarah Silverman and Joan Cusack

Down and out rock star Dewey Finn (Black) gets fired from his band, and he faces a mountain of debts and depression. To make ends meet, he takes a job as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school where his attitude and hijinx have a powerful effect on his students. Dewey teaches the students how to rock and discovers that they have a lot of talent. Looking for a way to earn some fast cash and revive his name in the music scene, Dewey enters his class in the local “battle of the bands” contest where the students teach him a thing or two about character.

“Orange County” – Sunday, January 27th

7:00PM ET/PT on Citytv Toronto and Vancouver

Starring: Colin Hanks and Jack Black
Shaun Brumder (Hanks) is a local surfer kid from Orange County who dreams of going to Stanford to become a writer and escaping his dysfunctional family household. Shaun runs into one complication after another starting when his dim-witted guidance counselor sends the wrong application resulting in his rejection. Things get messy when Shaun’s girlfriend Ashley and his stoner brother Lance join the quest to get Shaun into Stanford any way they see fit

“We All Fall Down” – Saturday, January 26th ***A Citytv Premiere***

9:00PM ET/CT/MT/PT on Citytv Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

Starring: Martin Cummings, Ryan Reynolds and Richard C. Burton

This film is a semi-autobiographical account of a period of time in actor/director Martin Cummins’ life following the death of his mother and exploration into the drug scene.