Canwest's blog

This Spring on Showcase viewers can indulge in a lineup of powerhouse network premieres, exclusive series and highly-anticipated returns. The schedule kicks off on March 29, with a gang of juvenile delinquents in the Showcase exclusive British series Misfits, followed by an unlawful society in British drama Survivors. For the first time ever the Showtime smash-hit series Californication makes its way onto off-pay television and lands on Showcase. Finally, viewers can hang-up their inhibitions for the tantalizing second season of Showtime series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

The first season of the Golden Globe® and Emmy® award-winning series, Californication comes to Showcase. The acclaimed dramatic comedy stars David Duchovny as Hank Moody, a novelist who struggles to help raise his 13-year-old daughter, while pining for his ex-girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone), all while trying to re-launch his writing career in LA. His obsession with honesty, self-destructive behaviour and women are taking Hank on a rollercoaster ride he can’t seem to get off. Californication airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning April 13.
Everyone’s favourite call girl returns to Showcase with a second season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Belle’s (Billie Piper) life is further complicated by a bubbly but clingy young call-girl-in-training named Bambi (Ashley Madekwe) who she takes under her wing. While her best friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg), the only person who knows about her secret life, settles into domestic bliss, Belle throws herself into her work. When she meets Alex (Callum Blue), a handsome doctor who she mistakes for a client in a hotel bar, Belle becomes conflicted with the most difficult question of all – can she keep having sex for money while falling in love? Secret Diary of a Call Girl airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning April 14.
The BBC breakout hit series Misfits adds further drama to the new schedule. Kelly, Nathan, Curtis, Alisha and Simon have each committed a crime. Needless to say, when they find themselves working together on community service, it doesn’t take long for the sparks to fly. When a freak electrical storm hits the town, strange things begin to happen to them, way beyond their control. They have no idea they’ve turned into superheroes, each with a power that reveals their deepest, darkest insecurities. Misfits airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning March 29.

Also from BBC comes the first season of science fiction drama Survivors that portrays the world stripped of all the conveniences of a modern society – no law, no shops, no communications, no transport, no electricity and no clean water. This is the apocalyptic scenario facing the heroes at the centre of this chilling drama series. Set in the present day, Survivors focuses on the world in the aftermath of a deadly virus as the lonely few who remain struggle to start over in a devastated world. Survivors airs Wednesdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT beginning March 29.
Full episodes of Californication, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Misfits and Survivors will also be available exclusively on Showcase.ca the day after broadcast.

Wedding season has begun on a high note on Showcase with 27 Dresses

The blockbuster nuptial flick delivered a total viewing audience of 1.1 million viewers (2+) between all three of its Saturday plays, making it the highest rated movie of all-time on Showcase

The 4pm play shattered the previously held record for any single-viewing cable premiere on the channel with 659,000 (2+) and 333,000 (25-54) viewers when compared to 594,000 (2+) and 292,000 (25-54) set by the cable premiere of Spiderman 3.

With a schedule that delivers an unprecedented number of blockbuster movies straight off-pay, Showcase is the go-to destination for viewers seeking the biggest Hollywood movies. Since introducing popular titles such as Casino Royale and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, movies have become the top performing programs on the channel.

Showcase viewers can look forward to a schedule featuring even more smash-hit titles every Saturday with the upcoming premieres of Alien vs Predator: Requiem, The Simpsons Movie, and Robots.

Source: BBM-PPM Data – as of March 16, 2010.

Canwest Broadcasting proudly announces the launch of MovieTime HD on Friday, March 12, 2010. Beginning tomorrow, MovieTime HD will be included as part of the Rogers Digital Cable VIP offering for customers with an HD box on channel 562. This launch continues to reinforce Canwest as a leader in HD programming with History Television, Showcase, National Geographic Channel and four Global Television stations – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton – currently broadcasting in High Definition.

The ultimate destination for big-ticket movies, MovieTime launched over a year ago and has been a huge success with viewers. It is now a top 10 digital channel in Canada for all key demos.

“With the immense popularity of MovieTime, we’re delighted to announce the launch of MovieTime HD – Canada’s only HD specialty destination for recent blockbusters”, said Daniel Eves, VP Strategic Programming, Specialty, Canwest Broadcasting. “The channel will offer viewers an incomparable movie viewing experience, combining superior resolution and sound with big-ticket movie titles.”

Viewers can expect to find HD titles that will include: Batman Begins, The School of Rock, Scorpion King, The Wedding Planner, Stuart Little 2, The Bucket List, Bourne Identity, Sahara, Catch Me If You Can, Matilda and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. Many more new titles are to be added in the coming months.

MovieTime HD will be launching with other TV providers later this spring.

Showcase launches an innovative national promotional campaign today in support of its newest Original series Pure Pwnage. The multi-media campaign combines elements of print, out-of-home, online and gaming that will drive to the series premiere on Friday, March 12 at 10pm et/pt. The cutting edge aspects to these platforms include a partnership with Xbox Canada and the use of a Quick Response (QR) code.

Pure Pwnage tells the story of “Jeremy,” the ultimate video gamer, living in a digital bubble. The series will appeal to audiences with an appreciation for gaming and digital culture. Beginning today, the four-week media campaign will reach consumers by combining elements of on-air, out-of-home, online and Xbox advertising. In downtown Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, digital advertisement boards in bars and restaurant washrooms will run a 15 second, full motion video ad, accompanied by print creative which will include the use of a Quick Response (QR) code. QR codes are a unique and quickly growing platform developed for use with mobile devices. Once a simple QR code reader app is downloaded, consumers will be able to hold up their mobile device to the print ads, scan the code and then be directed to a 15 second promo on the PurePwnage.com/tv/promo site. The site will host additional information on the series, exclusive online games and mobisodes. Canwest is one of the first broadcasters to integrate the up-and-coming technology into a promotional campaign.

The Xbox Canada partnership involves multiple components. When gamers login to Xbox LIVE they will be presented with a Pure Pwnage advertisement that will be prominently located in three locations: Xbox LIVE Marketplace, Inside Xbox and the Spotlight Channel. Once the digital advertisement is clicked, the gamer will be shown a 15 second promo for the series. In addition, in-game ads will appear in select action/adventure and sports game titles. Lastly, an Xbox Game with Fame consumer event will happen on Thursday, March 25 when Xbox LIVE Gold members will have the opportunity to play Electronic Arts NHL 10 on Xbox LIVE against Jarett Cale who stars as “Jeremy,” aka “teh_pwner” in Pure Pwnage. Past celebrities who have participated in Xbox Game with Fame include Megan Fox, Tony Hawk and Hedley among others.

Online advertisements will be strategically located on music, entertainment, gaming and technology websites, with a focus on gamer-centric sites. On the day of the series premiere, entertainment buffs will wake up to a total re-skin of urban lifestyle website Heavy.com, and ads will be launched on AOL Canada and Gorilla Nation affiliate sites.

Exclusive to the Toronto market will be a grassroots campaign displaying wild postings in 45 locations throughout the city. Construction sites will be adorned with the posters in six eye-catching colours that will also be sporting the QR code. Canwest’s digital content team will support the existing Facebook Showcase.ca fan page as well as the Twitter account with frequent programming updates to create buzz for the Pure Pwnage series.

The campaign was conceptualized by the Marketing Strategy team and designed in-house by Canwest’s award-winning Creative Agency. Media buying was handled by Canwest’s internal Media Strategy team.

The latest go-to guilty pleasure is only a click away with the brand new web series, JacLife, launching Monday, March 8 on Slice.ca/jaclife. Created exclusively for Slice.ca and consisting of six five-minute webisodes, JacLife captures the glamour and drama that is the life of Jaclyn, a 24-year-old Torontonian who loves fashion, partying and spending time with her best friends.

“Slice.ca aims to engage and entertain viewers beyond what’s on television by creating unique and original content that both reflects and complements the Slice™ brand,” said Paul Burns, Vice President, Digital Media for Canwest. “As part of our strategy across the digital platforms we are looking at original content as value-adding. Viewers may come to learn about their favourite show but they’ll stay for our exclusive videos and blogs.”  Jaclyn lives the life every fashionista dreams of having – where fashion rules, clothes are a career and very best friends are also colleagues. In each of the six webisodes, the cameras follow Jaclyn and her friends Gillian, Kaity and Lauren at her store (JacFlash, a trendy boutique on Queen St. West), her custom-designed luxury loft or as they hit the latest hotspot for a night out on the town.

Additional features of the JacLife mircrosite that are designed to further engage users include an interactive dress-up game where users can dress Jaclyn in pieces from her fashion line Jac and Gill; a dictionary of the JacLife lingo; and a blog updated with photos, beauty tips and gossip.

Slice.ca is 62% female, with half of the total audience falling in the female 18-49 demographic. It has consistently more than doubled its engagement year over year to just under nine minutes per visitor and female visitors to the site are more likely to be in high income households – indexing at 133 to the web population, and more likely to be in large households – indexing at 218 to the web population.

JacLife was created and produced by Vanessa Grant exclusively for Slice.ca

Source:  comScore Inc., Total Canada, All Locations, 18+ audience, January 2010, high income household refers to 75K+, large households refers to 4+ members.

Canwest Broadcasting and Lone Eagle Entertainment have partnered to bring the hugely popular Wipeout to Canada. Premiering on TVtropolis during the 2011 broadcast year, the highly-anticipated Canadian format of the painfully funny U.S. series will find daring Canadian contestants competing on the world’s largest extreme obstacle course for cash prizes.

“Wipeout has been a phenomenal hit with our viewers and it’s such a pleasure to be partnering with Lone Eagle Entertainment to bring the show to Canada,” said Karen Gelbart, SVP, Content, Lifestyle Channels, Canwest Broadcasting. “The Wipeout course is hilariously unpredictable and, to the delight of TVtropolis viewers, Canadians across the country will now have a chance to test their skills.”

“We’re thrilled to be involved in such an exciting project,” said Lone Eagle Entertainment Executive Producer, Michael Geddes. “Canadians coast to coast will be able to cheer on our country’s most fearless and daring as they go head to head for the top prize”.

Wipeout Canada will be filmed in Fall 2010 on an extreme obstacle course that was designed to provide the most spectacular spills, face plants, and wipeouts.

The Wipeout format is licensed to Lone Eagle Entertainment and is distributed in Canada by Disney and internationally by Endemol, a leading producer of television programming specializing in reality and non-scripted genres for network and cable television. The Canadian format will air on TVtropolis – joining an already robust line-up of hit reality shows including Hoarders, Parking Wars, Survivor and Rescue Ink. Further host and casting announcements will follow in the near future.

Weekend of February 20 and February 27

Need a break from Olympic™ frenzy but crave the entertainment of a competition? For two weekends in February, HGTV presents four different marathons featuring competitive spirit, dramatic reveals and Canadian programming pride.

Saturday, February 20 11am ET – 4:30pm ET
Encore presentation from 4:30pm – 10pm ET House Poor

Sunday, February 21 11am ET – 4:30pm ET
Encore presentation from  4:30pm – 10pm ET For Rent, Season II

Saturday, February 27 12pm ET – 10pm ET Top Design

Sunday, February 28 11am ET – 5pm ET
Encore presentation from 5pm ET – 10pm ET Million Dollar Listing, Season II

Monday, February 15 from 11:30am ET to 6pm ET

Spend Family Day with the Grant family. In the full season marathon of Family Renovation the Grant family has a renovation planned – but they’re not going to do this the easy way. With five children under the age of 10, mom Marie-France Leblanc has a clear idea of how she would like old style elegance to meet modern function and amenities in her dream home. This strong-willed woman wants to supervise every part of the reno and live in the house (with her children) while the massive renovation takes place. This is a personal renovation story fuelled by construction chaos, family tension and looming deadlines.

Sunday, February 14 from 11am ET to 4:30pm ET
(Encore presentation from 4:30pm ET to 10pm ET)

Watch couples fall in love with their very first home during this Valentine’s Day inspired marathon of Property Virgins couples episodes following a one-hour HGTV special.

11am ET – 12pm ET HGTV Special TBA
12pm ET – 4:30pm ET Property Virgins

Sunday, February 7 from 11am ET to 10pm ET

Escape from Super Bowl™ Sunday madness to a day of design, with marathons of Pure Design and Sarah’s House and a one-hour HGTV special in between.

11am ET – 2:30pm ET Pure Design, Season II
2:30pm ET – 3:30pm ET HGTV Special TBA
3:30pm ET – 10pm ET Sarah’s House, Season II