April 2008

The day after Canadian Idol’s 2008 cross-country audition tour wrapped up in Toronto, CTV announced that the search for Canada’s next Idol is heading into cyberspace, allowing singers in any part of the country with access to a computer to audition for this year’s competition. It’s only the second time in the history of the Idol franchise that competitors have had the opportunity to audition online, marking yet another North American first for Canadian Idol. By extending the breadth of the national search, producers are now offering every eligible Canadian the opportunity for exposure and a chance to start a professional music career, no matter where they live. Beginning today and lasting until Friday, April 25 at 5 p.m. ET, online Idol competitors simply need to upload video tryouts to the Canadian Idol website, idol.CTV.ca.

“Over the past six years, we’ve traveled tens of thousands of miles across this vast country, to every province and two territories, in search of the best undiscovered musical talent,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Now, we’re heading into a new frontier with the hopes of leaving no stone left unturned. Hopefully this initiative will uncover some talent that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to find.”

Throughout the past five seasons, Canadian Idol has defined itself as one of the most innovative formats in the world. Now, not only will this new online element open up the competition to those unable to travel to an audition city, it also allows those unsuccessful at previous audition tour stops a second chance to earn a Gold Ticket to the “Top 100” round in Toronto.

“It’s not possible for the tour to hit every province and territory each year, but now there’s nothing holding people back from being part of the Canadian Idol experience,“ said John Brunton, Executive Producer of Canadian Idol. “Now Canadians who might not normally be able to audition in person can audition online to show the judges what they’ve got.”

Those interested in auditioning online should visit idol.CTV.ca to view the list of approved audition songs. Registration forms, rules and regulations as well as FAQs for in-person and online auditions can also be found on the site.

Following the same process as in-person auditions, online entries will go through two rounds of pre-selection before earning an audience with the Canadian Idol Judges. Farley Flex, Jake Gold, Sass Jordan and Zack Werner will select the additional members of the “Top 100” based on talent. As with the cross-country audition tour, there is no pre-determined number of virtual Gold Tickets that will be awarded.

Online auditions are open to all Canadians between the ages of 16 and 28 (inclusive) as of January 25, 2008. Competitors may perform with an instrument, but they 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.

After years of disrespect, Canadians go on strike and raise their middle finger to the rest of the world in an all-new uncensored episode of South Park, premiering Friday, April 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on The Comedy Network.

It’s the latest episode from the award-winning American series to direct its attention to the Great White North.

The head of the World Canadian Bureau leads the country into a long and painful strike and the responsibility of brokering a settlement rests with Cartman and the boys. Meanwhile, people from Denmark flock to the United States and cross the picket lines to take the place of the striking Canadians. In conflict over whether or not to stand with their countrymen, Terrance and Philip uncover the truth behind the outrageous cost of the strike.

“Canada On Strike” will be available on-demand at thecomedynetwork.ca, beginning Saturday, April 19.

The 2008 JUNO Awards did more than just spotlight Canada’s musical talent and rock out with stellar TV ratings – it increased CD sales as well. Canadian artists who appeared on CTV’s broadcast of The 2008 JUNO Awards on April 6 are now enjoying “the JUNO effect” with remarkable increases in CD sales, data from Nielsen SoundScan confirms. Indie darling and five-time JUNO winner Feist saw a 153 per cent increase in sales for her latest release, The Reminder. The CD, which has been on the charts for almost an entire year, jumped from #19 two weeks ago to #2 this week. Four JUNO-related CDs placed in the Top 10 list of the most sold CDs this week.

Increases were seen for a number of artists featured in the CTV broadcast:

o Jully Black’s Revival jumped 57% in sales, moving from #146 two weeks ago to #63 this week.
o Michael Bublé’s Call Me Irresponsible jumped from #27 to #7 on the chart with an increase in sales of 36%. Similarly, his 2005 release, It’s Time, saw an increase of 22% after 166 weeks on the chart.
o Anne Murray’s Duets, Friends & Legends jumped 10 spots from #19 to #9 on the chart.
o Hedley’s Famous Last Words jumped from #42 to #21 with an increase in sales of 18%.
o Finger Eleven’s Them Vs. You Vs. Me swelled by 11%
o The JUNO Awards 2008 compilation CD moved from #27 two weeks ago to land at #9 on the chart.

After airing live from Calgary’s Pengrowth Saddledome, the April 6 broadcast of The 2008 JUNO Awards on CTV was the most-watched program of the night on Canadian television with 1.45 million viewers. Up 56 per cent compared to last year’s broadcast (925,000), it was the second most-watched JUNO Awards ever on CTV, according to BBM Nielsen Media Research, since Shania Twain hosted from Ottawa in 2003. The two-hour program was simulcast for the first time on participating CHUM radio stations, and received several encore broadcasts on MuchMoreMusic. The 2008 JUNO Awards airs again on MuchMoreMusic on Saturday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

Seven awards were handed out over the course of the broadcast. In addition to Feist taking home three trophies, Michael Bublé was the JUNO Fan Choice Award winner (presented by Doritos), Blue Rodeo captured Group of the Year, Paul Brandt won for Country Recording of the Year, and Wintersleep was named New Group of the Year (sponsored by FACTOR and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters). Veteran Canadian rock act Triumph was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. A complete list of winners can be found at www.junoawards.ca or www.junos.CTV.ca.

Don’t miss a very special edition of “CityLine” when Marilyn Denis goes one-on-one with Chef Gordon Ramsay on Monday, April 28th at 10:00am ET/CT/MT/PT on Citytv.

Former pro-soccer-player-turned-world-class-chef Gordon Ramsay turns up the heat during his first ever visit to “CityLine”. We’re putting Chef Ramsay’s skills to the test as he serves up his ‘pièce de résistance’ – ‘New Season’s Lamb with Crushed Peas’ – live on our set. Then, Ramsay talks about the concept behind his latest cookbook, Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food, where he serves up 15 fast recipes and 15 great menus for everyday entertaining. Plus, Gordon dishes about being an author and a larger than life media personality, before giving some behind-the-scenes insight into the latest season of “Hell’s Kitchen”!

Don’t miss Executive Chef Gordon Ramsay live on “CityLine” Monday, April 28th at 10:00am on Citytv! Catch an encore presentation of “CityLine” at 3:00pm ET on Citytv Toronto. Plus, tune into “Hell’s Kitchen”, Tuesdays on Citytv, for your weekly serving of Chef Ramsay!

Fans get their fix of fashion hits and some memorable fashion misses when the hit show “Ugly Betty” returns with three brand new episodes, beginning with Twenty-four Candles, Thursday, April 24, 2008 on Citytv.

Broadcast Schedule is as follows:

Citytv Toronto Thursday, April 24 at 8:00pm ET

Citytv Winnipeg Thursday, April 24 at 7:00pm CT

Citytv Calgary Thursday, April 24 at 9:00pm MT

Citytv Edmonton Thursday, April 24 at 9:00pm MT

Citytv Vancouver Thursday, April 24 at 8:00pm PT

In the first of three new episodes following the writer’s strike, Twenty-Four Candles, the lovable Betty Suarez turns 24. In true Betty style, her big day is not without its fair share of complications. Plans to spend a romantic birthday with her man Henry are sidelined when an unwanted visitor drops in unexpectedly. While sandwich-maker turned Betty-admirer Gio does his best to salvage Betty’s birthday, Wilhelmina does her best to sabotage her sister Renee’s (guest star Gabrielle Union) blossoming relationship with Daniel Meade.

“Ugly Betty” stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Tony Plana as Ignacio, Ana Ortiz as Hilda, Ashley Jensen as Christina, Becki Newton as Amanda, Mark Indelicato as Justin, Michael Urie as Marc, Judith Light as Claire Meade, Christopher Gorham as Henry, Rebecca Romijn as Alexis and Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater. Freddy Rodriguez is a recurring guest star as Gio.

Canwest Broadcasting announced it will launch three new digital transmitters in Ontario and B.C. on April 18. Global Ontario, Global BC and E! Ontario will broadcast their programming in High Definition (HD) as of this date. Television service providers within the footprint of each transmitter will carry these services and provide simultaneous substitution of the US HD signals.

Over 25 primetime hits from House to The Office, from Brothers & Sisters to Bones, from Rules of Engagement to How I Met Your Mother, plus event television including PGA Golf and Wimbledon, will be broadcast in glorious HD in these major markets. This timely HD development follows smartly on the heels of ET Canada’s milestone as the first domestic daily entertainment show broadcast in HD.

“The digital transmitters are launching just as new episodes of our viewer favourites return to the networks. We are offering our viewers the best programming via the best quality broadcast signals,” said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice President, Content, Canwest Broadcasting.

Travel back and forth through time with Global Television this May as the network introduces a premium array of new dramatic series, high-action adventure and popular family friendly fare all month long.

An all-new series from producer/writer Mike Kelley (Jericho, The O.C.), Swingtown takes viewers back to the ‘70s, the era of provocative change beginning Thursday, May 29 – 10pm ET/PT. Starring Canadian Molly Parker (HBO’s Six Feet Under, Deadwood), Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) and Grant Show (Melrose Place), this drama centres around one family’s move into an affluent Chicago suburb, only to discover their neighbours share much more than just recipes. Introduced to a world of possibility, including open marriages, Bruce and Susan Miller are confronted with personal choices, experimentation and shifting attitudes.

Fast forward to modern day…Durham County, the emotionally powerful Canadian Original drama series makes its Global debut Monday, May 19 – 10pm ET/PT. Starring Hugh Dillon (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie), Durham County revolves around Detective Mike Sweeney and his family as he hunts a serial killer he’s certain is the guy across the street. As Sweeney hunts down his murderous neighbour, the differences between the cop and the killer become blurry. With a shared history that goes all the way back to high school, Sweeney learns you can’t always leave your past behind. Durham County also stars Justin Louis (Saw IV), Helene Joy (ReGenesis) and Greyston Holt.

After nearly two decades, Dr. Jones, renowned archeologist is finally coming back to the big screen with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. In celebration of this highly anticipated premiere in theatres on May 22, Global Television presents fans the opportunity to get reacquainted with the entire Indy trilogy Wednesday nights at 8pm ET/PT starting May 7: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – May 7; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – May 14; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – May 21.

And it’s all about family fun on Friday nights at 8pm ET/PT… Audiences young and old can tune in together this month for an entertaining slate of box office hits: Madagascar (animation) – April 25; Shark Tale (animation) – May 2; Robots (animation) – May 16; Cat in the Hat (live action) – May 23; Ice Age (animation) – May 30.

Friday, April 25 at 8pm ET/PT

Starring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, & David Schwimmer

Weekdays at 7pm ET/ 7:30pm PT

All week long ET Canada has the exclusive details on Gemini award winner Tara Spencer Nairn’s wedding plans leading up to Friday, April 25 when ET Canada will be take you inside her big day.

Monday, April 21– Golden Globe nominated hunk Matthew Fox sits down to talk about his upcoming movie Speed Racer.

Tuesday, April 22– Speed Racer co-star Emile Hirsch chats about the upcoming flick.

Thursday, April 24 – Coverage of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival begins.

Friday, April 25 at 10pm ET/PT

Don and his team hunt for an ex-Marine wanted for murder. Things become confusing, however, when the Marine’s family is kidnapped. Is there more to this case than meets the eye?