News

CTV Named Exclusive Canadian Broadcaster of The Concert for Diana, July 1
(April 3, 2007)

— Day long concert celebrates the late princess’ 46th birthday on Canada Day —

Toronto, ON (April 3, 2007) – CTV announced today it will join an international list of broadcasters from around the planet – including NBC, BBC and RTL – telecasting a concert celebrating the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. As the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of Concert for Diana, CTV will connect Canadians with an expected worldwide audience of half a billion households when it broadcasts the day-long concert live from London’s Wembley Stadium on Canada Day, Sunday, July 1. The date would have been the late princess’ 46th birthday and comes as plans continue to unfold for events marking the Princess of Wales’ death 10 years ago on August 31, 1997.

Organized by Prince William and Prince Harry, Concert for Diana features a mix of their mother’s and their own favourite artists, including Elton John, Joss Stone, Pharrell Williams, Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran and The English National Ballet. Additional acts will be announced later this month.

“We wanted to have this big concert full of energy, full of the sort of fun and happiness which I know she would have wanted,” said Prince William when plans for the concert were announced last November. “It’s got to be the best birthday present she ever had.”

“It’s fitting that this very special and personal celebration of the life and work of the Princess of Wales will air on Canada Day on CTV,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “The Princess not only shared a birthday with Canadians but also an affinity for making this world a better place in which to live.”

Concert for Diana comes two years after CTV presented Live 8 on CTV in July, 2005, one of the network’s most ambitious broadcast initiatives ever and an unprecedented international event that also connected Canadians from coast to coast with viewers from around the world. A stunning 10.5 million viewers – or roughly one in three Canadians and 45 per cent of all Canadian households – watched some or all of the broadcast.

Concert for Diana will also be telecast by dozens of broadcasters around the world, including NBC and VH1 in the United States, BBC1 in the United Kingdom, RTL 2 in Germany, and Nine Network in Australia.

CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 15 specialty channels, including the number-one Canadian specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by CTVglobemedia, Canada’s premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company Web site at ctv.ca.

CTV’s Whistler Clicks Online with Complementary Web Experience

Toronto, ON (June 29, 2006) – Canada’s newest drama is also Canada’s dramatic new online broadband experience.

CTV announced today that its highly-acclaimed drama series Whistler, which premiered last Sunday, will be supported with multiple online components including on-demand broadband broadcasts of each episode, original webisodes, character blogs and an interactive website. Whistler airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV and premieres in the United States this Friday, June 30 on The N.

Photos can be downloaded from Whistler at www.ctvmedia.ca.

Set in one of the world’s most glittering resort playgrounds, Whistler is a 13-part drama series that unravels the mystery surrounding the shocking death of Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Beck McKaye. In addition to 13, one-hour episodes, Whistler producers have also created 13 original, two to three minute “webisodes” that allow viewers to delve deeper into the mystery of Whistler. Shot on location in Whistler, BC, this bonus, original, web-only content consists of short scenes of events in the lives of the characters prior to the series’ storyline, scenes that could have taken place during the course of the episode or events that may have occurred between episodes.

Beginning today, two of the 13 Whistler webisodes – including a “prequel” webisode – are available on demand on The CTV Broadband Network at www.ctv.ca. The remaining webisodes will be released weekly on Mondays at 9 a.m. ET on ctv.ca following the original broadcast of Whistler on CTV.

In addition to the webisodes, Whistler is the latest series to be made available for free and on- demand on The CTV Broadband Network. Complete, one-hour Whistler episodes will be available at www.ctv.ca Mondays at 9 a.m. ET following each television broadcast on CTV.

Additional online elements that will support Whistler include two separate websites. The first, www.whistlertheseries.com features information about the show including synopses, cast bios, character info and additional details about Whistler that will be continually updated as the series unfolds over the summer.

The supporting website www.afterthedrop.com features a fictional blog set up by Whistler characters Feeney and Quinn. The blogsite was set up for family and friends to keep track of the main character, Beck McKaye, during his successful run at the Olympics. A Flash player also lives on this site that showcases various musical artists featured in the series.

The musical selections will be updated from time to time, but currently include: Immaculate Machine, The Organ, The Waking Eyes, Death From Above 1979 and Pilate. Series-related products will be promoted on the site as they are launched, such as the upcoming Whistler soundtrack from Universal Music Canada.

In addition, Quinn and other characters from the show have online “accounts” set up with existing websites in cyberspace, including myspace.com (myspace.com/whistlerquinn) and blog.flickr.com (http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnmckaye) where Quinn “shares” his photos of his famous brother, family and friends.

The Web strategy was developed and executed by Bento Box, a Toronto and Vancouver-based Web strategy firm that provides complete management of Web projects from vision to design to production. While Bento Box’s clients range from political parties to land developers, they’re no strangers to the entertainment world. They developed street marketing and websites for long-running series Da Vinci’s Inquest, and motion graphics and identity for the award- winning Canadian documentary, The Corporation. They can be found on the Web at http://www.bentobox.net

CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 16 specialty channels, including the number-one Canadian specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by Bell Globemedia, Canada’s premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company website at www.ctv.ca.

Corner Gas Draws 2 Million in Record Setting Season Finale; “Dream Team” Story Department Unveiled as CTV Announces Production Order for Corner Gas Season V

– All-star collection of comedic writers now set for Season V –
– 19 new episodes begin production this spring –

Toronto, ON (March 13, 2007) – Last night’s highly anticipated season finale of Corner Gas drew a season-high 2 million viewers, the most successful season finale to date and the second largest audience ever for Canada’s #1 comedy. For CTV, the big-buzz-finale capped another memorable year for Corner Gas, which charted an astonishing 67 per cent audience growth since its season premiere last September. The series finishes its 19-episode run with an average audience of 1.52 million viewers, reaching as high as #16 on Canada’s Top 20 list of most watched programs. For the fourth consecutive year, Corner Gas remains television’s #1 comedy (Canadian or American) and the most watched Canadian scripted series (see “The Ratings” below for a complete ratings summary). The memorable finale will encore Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on The Comedy Network and is available on demand on The CTV Broadband Network at CTV.ca.

With another successful season in the record books, CTV today confirmed to series producers a full 19-episode production order for a 5th season of Corner Gas. Production crews are now gearing up for a May, 2007 return to their Saskatchewan-based sets and soundstages. With their return, Corner Gas remains the only network comedy series to be entirely based and shot in Saskatchewan.

Armed with the new production order, Corner Gas executive producers Brent Butt, David Storey and Virginia Thompson today unveiled their Season V story department, a six-person team that now stands as the most formidable creative lineup the series has ever boasted. The newly assembled “dream-team” story department features:

Brent Butt – star/creator/writer/director/executive producer
Kevin White – supervising producer/writer (showrunner)
Mark Farrell – producer/writer
Norm Hiscock – consulting producer/writer
Gary Pearson – story editor/writer
Andrew Carr – story editor/writer
In addition to signing on the Emmy Award winning Norm Hiscock (Saturday Night Live, King Of The Hill, Kids In The Hall) and the highly acclaimed Gary Pearson (MadTV, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), the executive producing team today appointed Corner Gas veteran Kevin White as series show-runner. Together with star/creator/director/co-executive producer Brent Butt, producer/writer Mark Farrell (The Newsroom, This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and story editor/writer Andrew Carr (Comics), it’s a virtual all-star collection of Canada’s most prolific comedy writers (See – “Addendum: The Season V Corner Gas Story Department” for bios on each).

“Congratulations to the entire Corner Gas creative team, cast and crew who together, continue to define the comedy genre in Canada,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the Media Group. “Like its legions of fans who make a weekly appointment with the series, we look forward to finding out what’s in store for the residents of Dog River in Season 5.”

“I haven’t been this excited about starting a season since we went into development on Season 1,” said Butt. “We had our first writers meeting in Toronto and we just sat around laughing ourselves sick. As immature and obnoxious as that may sound, it really bodes well for scripts.”

“Building a team of this calibre was an exhilarating experience,” said Executive Producer Virginia Thompson. “There is so much mutual respect among these writers for their individual achievements and bodies of work. It’s going to make for a spectacular Season 5 of Corner Gas.”

The Ratings – Last Night
With 2 million viewers, the Corner Gas season finale charted 29 per cent more viewers than its season-to-date average.
It won the 8-8:30 time-period with 40% more viewers than House (Global, 1.4M, 8-9 p.m. ET).
Corner Gas outperformed the simulcast airing of 24 (Global/Fox, 9 p.m. ET) by 45 percent.
It also earned a statistical tie with CSI: Miami and together are the co-winners of the night. The Corner Gas lead in also provided CTV’s Robson Arms with its highest ever audience (747,000).
The Ratings – This Season
With 19 episodes now in the history books, Corner Gas finishes its fourth season:
With a 19-episode average of 1.52 million viewers,
Finishing as high as #16 on Canada’s Top 20 list of most-watched programs,
The only scripted series to earn a place in the Top 20,
As Canada’s #1 comedy (Canadian or U.S.),
With 67 per cent growth since it debuted in September, 2006
Corner Gas averaged 33 per cent more total viewers than the next most-watched comedy (up 33 per cent vs. The Simpsons on Global, up 34 per cent vs. Little Mosque on the Prairie on CBC).
The Ratings – The Series
Monday’s finale marked the series 69th consecutive million-plus episode, since its launch in January, 2004.
Last night’s finale was the second time the series has reached the 2-million mark, second only to the Season 3 Christmas Special, “Merry Gasmas”, which pulled in 2.2 million viewers (BBM).
In its four-year run, no Canadian or U.S comedy series has been more popular in Canada.
Addendum – The Season V Corner Gas Story Department:

BRENT BUTT – star/creator/director/executive producer/writer
Brent Butt has been thrilling audiences across the country with his depiction of small-town life for over 15 years. He has been a regular on the Just For Laughs TV show, as well as other programs on A&E, HBO, CBC, CTV, Global, and The Comedy Network. His one-hour Comedy Now! special earned him a Gemini Nomination in the category of “Best Comedy Performance”. He was named “Best Male Stand-Up’ at the 2001 Canadian Comedy Awards and was subsequently selected to represent his country on the World Comedy Tour in Australia. He followed that by hosting the “Just For Laughs – Asian Tour” in Singapore. His invitation to appear on the CBC 50th Anniversary Special entitled All-Star Comedy Homecoming secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, as he performed alongside the most noted comedic minds from the past five decades of Canadian entertainment.

KEVIN WHITE – supervising producer/writer
Kevin White adds writer to his supervising producer credit for Corner Gas and was formerly the show’s executive story editor. He is also the head writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes and his stand-up material was featured in his own episode of Comics. White has won a Canadian Screenwriting Award for Best Comedy Writing (2002) and has received four Gemini nominations in the same category.

MARK FARRELL – producer/writer
Multi-talented comedian Mark Farrell returns as producer of Corner Gas and has directed four episodes of the hit comedy series. A five-time Canadian Screenwriting Award-winner and a seven-time Gemini Award-winner, Farrell’s writing credits include numerous episodes of Corner Gas, along with episodes of Made in Canada, the Rick Mercer special Talking to Americans and episodes of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, where he also serves as an Executive Producer. As an actor, Farrell appeared in the comedy series Married Life and The Newsroom, the pilot episode of Corner Gas and in the feature film Snow Falling on Cedars.

NORM HISCOCK – consulting producer/writer
Norm Hiscock returns home after getting his start as a writer for the critically acclaimed sketch comedy show Kids in the Hall, where he served as the show’s head writer for its last two seasons and helped co-write the Kids in the Hall film, Brain Candy. Hiscock’s writing credits also include three seasons on Saturday Night Live and almost six seasons as a writer for the animated series, King of the Hill, where he served as the show’s Co-Executive Producer for the last two seasons. Hiscock also won an Emmy Award and an Annie Award for “Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production” for his work on the series.

Recently, Hiscock worked as a consulting producer on the CTV series Alice, I Think. He also developed, wrote and executive produced two pilots, The Altar Boy Gang and The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, which is currently airing on Comedy Central in the U.S. He currently has a film in development with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

GARY PEARSON – story editor/writer
Gemini Award-nominated writer Gary Pearson brings his impressive list of writing credits to the Corner Gas writing team. For three seasons, Pearson worked as a writer on the news satire series, This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Other writing credits include Mad TV, Train 48, Just For Laughs with Ryan Belleville, Just For Laughs with Russell Peters, 50 Years of CBC Satire with Leslie Nielsen and The Juno Awards. Pearson was also a member of the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated comedy troupe “Chumps” and starred in CBC Radio’s Chumps Without A Net for two seasons. On television, Pearson appeared in episodes of Kids in the Hall, The Newsroom, Sketchcom, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Lissen Missy, Jonathan Cross’s Canada, Goosebumps, ENG, Sister Mary Explains it All and The War Next Door.

ANDREW CARR – story editor/writer
Andrew Carr has been a part of Corner Gas since the beginning, working as a writer and story editor for the past four seasons. Carr got his start in stand-up comedy and has over fifteen years of stand-up experience, he’s performed all across North America and toured with Brent Butt, who brought him to the Corner Gas team. Carr’s television credits include appearances on Comics, Animal Miracles and John Doe. His radio credits include Definitely Not the Opera and Madly off in All Directions.

Entitled “Gopher It,” the season final episode picks up as Dog River is run rampant with prairie dogs – or gophers – among other alarming events. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper becomes the second PM since Diefenbaker to visit Dog River, he wades into a local controversy which he blames on the previous Liberal government. As the episode unfolds, Brent closes shop, Lacey moves home, and the fate of Hank, Oscar, Emma, Wanda, Karen and Davis are put into question – not to mention Corner Gas itself. But in the end, Hank wakes up from what was one big bad dream and all is well again in Dog River.

Corner Gas is produced in association with CTV by Prairie Pants Productions, comprised of Virginia Thompson (Incredible Story Studio, renegadepress.com) of Vérité Films and 335 Productions, a partnership of Brent Butt and David Storey (Blackfly, The Seán Cullen Show). Louise Clarke is CTV’s Director, Western Independent Production. Brent Haynes is Director of Programming for The Comedy Network. Ed Robinson is Senior-Vice President, Comedy and Variety Programming, CTV Inc. Susanne Boyce is President, CTV Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

Production Begins on CTV Original Movie To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe (Working Title)

– Henry Czerny and Brian Markinson star in two-hour telefilm –

Production will begin next week on a CTV original movie based on the circumstances leading up to the tragic deaths of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, AB, it was announced today by CTV in association with SEVEN24 Films (Formerly Alberta Filmworks Inc.) and Slanted Wheel Entertainment. To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe (working title) is based on the tragic events of March 3, 2005 that made national headlines and led to the RCMP’s greatest loss of life in a single day in over 100 years.

Produced with the cooperation of the surviving families of the tragedy, the film will undergo production in Calgary and the southern Alberta towns of Irricana and in and around Cochrane beginning March 8 through April 3. To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe stars Henry Czerny (The Tudors,Pink Panther, Clear and Present Danger) and Brian Markinson (Charlie Wilson’s War, Eight Days to Live, Angels in America).

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe recounts the events of that day two years ago when four RCMP officers were ambushed and gunned down by a heavily-armed, habitual criminal named James Roszko (Markinson) on his farm near Mayerthorpe, Alberta. As an angry nation mourned, a picture began to emerge of a terrorized community and an RCMP force frustrated in its attempts to bring Roszko to justice. In the movie, Czerny plays a fictional character named Corporal Alex Stuart that is the protagonist of the story.

“We want to tell this story in honour of the four men who gave their lives in the line of duty,” said Executive Producer Jon Slan. “The creative team engaged in an extensive consultation process with the families of the slain officers and the RCMP, to ensure the accuracy of the story.”

“Having the input of the families in undertaking this project was paramount and we couldn’t have gone forward without their confidence in us,” added Executive Producer Jordy Randall.

“We are committed to presenting an honest portrayal of the incident at Mayerthorpe with the hope of furthering discussion about the events that led to this tragedy,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV’s President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe is executive produced by Tom Cox (Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Jon Slan (Wyatt Earp, Kissinger & Nixon). Executive Producer/Producer is Jordy Randall (Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Rachel Rafelman (Plague City:SARS in Toronto, Alice I Think) is co-executive producer. The screenplay is written by Andrew Wreggitt (Shades of Black, One Dead Indian) and will be directed by Ken Girotti (3 Lbs, 24).

Director of Photography is Michael Storey, (Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story, Murder in the Hamptons) and John Blackie (Friend of the Family, Agent of Influence) is the production designer. Kathleen Meek is CTV’s production executive overseeing the movie. Tecca Crosby is Acting Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

To Serve and Protect: Tragedy at Mayerthorpe is developed and produced by SEVEN24 Films and Slanted Wheel Entertainment in association with CTV. It is produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund, created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry, the COGECO Program Development Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credits and Government of Alberta, Alberta Film Development Program.

SEVEN24 Films (formerly Alberta Filmworks Inc.) is an independent Canadian film and television production company based in Calgary. In its 20 year history, the company has produced over 160 hours of high quality, prime time dramatic programming. SEVEN24 Films’ movies and series have been broadcast and distributed throughout the world, and have garnered over 100 Canadian and international nominations and awards.

Slanted Wheel Entertainment is an innovative film and television company dedicated to the acquisition and adaptation of literary properties and original published works for the big and small screen. In the four years of its existence, the company has accumulated an impressive list of film and television productions, including the multi-award-winning MOW Plague City: SARS in Toronto, and the half-hour comedy series Alice, I Think. Slanted Wheel has several feature films scheduled for production in 2007 as well as television series and movies in development.

Canada Answers “On The Lot” Challenge: 27 Canadians In the Running to Become “The Next Great Filmmaker” on CTV

— Producers visit Toronto and Vancouver tomorrow for invite-only casting sessions –

Mark Burnett Productions confirmed today that over one in three of all worldwide applicants for this summer’s blockbuster reality series On The Lot are from Canada. Twenty-seven Canadian filmmakers from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver are now in the running for the 16 competitor slots on the new series, set to debut this spring on CTV. The 27 Canadians have been invited to closed-door casting sessions tomorrow, Thursday, March 8 in Toronto and Vancouver. The Canadian cities are two of six North American locations holding auditions in addition to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago and Atlanta.

From Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, On The Lot is the search for the next great filmmaker – a filmmaker who just may be from Canada. With an overwhelming 4,000 submissions received by producers, Canadian filmmakers responded in droves to the open casting call. In addition to Canada and the United States, over 12,000 submissions were received from around the world, including Israel, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Denmark and France. Invite-only casting calls will also be conducted with applicants from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.

“The thousands of Canadian submissions clearly demonstrates our country’s passion for filmmaking,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “Good luck to all of our homegrown filmmakers in tomorrow’s casting sessions.”

After Thursday’s invite-only casting call, producers will winnow the applicants down to a group of 16 filmmakers and bring them to Hollywood, where they will be divided into teams. Each week over the course of the summer, the 16 filmmakers will produce short films in every genre. Viewers will vote on the productions and one filmmaker will be eliminated each week. The last filmmaker standing will take home a seven-figure development deal with DreamWorks – and the keys to a brand new office On The Lot. A host and judging panel for the series will be announced in the coming months.

On The Lot is produced by Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Amblin Television. Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg are creators and executive producers. Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Conrad Riggs are co-executive producers.

Saturday March 24
CBC
12:30 PM

Watch Canada’s finest freestyle skiiers in action at the World Championships this weekend. Jenn Heil leads Canada’s talented group of freestylers to the Italian ski resort at Madonna di Campiglio. Lets see how many golds we can get!

The auditions for the fifth season of Canadian Idol have begun, with more than 1200 people showing up in Metrotown for the event. Canadian Idol has said to have been voted the most popular television show across Canada.

Read more.

It caused big controversy in the US and the UK – and now it is looking very likely that this new TV Channel will be hitting Canadian screens. The channel – dedicated to the under three age bracket – has been approved by the CRTC (federal regulator for TV) and Rogers Cable is currently in discussions regarding taking it on.

Read more.

HIGHEST RATED NEW SERIES

– AND –

HIGHEST RATED CANADIAN SERIES
OF THE ’06-07 SEASON
ON ANY NETWORK

– PLUS –

‘CANADA’S CASE GAME’
ONLINE AND TEXT CONTEST ENTRIES TOP 750,000

TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ – This is the real deal, case closed. Global
Television’s original production of Deal or No Deal Canada is 2007’s biggest
TV success story, finishing its five-episode run as the country’s number one
new series and top Canadian series, with audiences larger than last summer’s
Canadian Idol.
On TV and online, Canadians embraced the Deal or No Deal Canada
experience…

<< DEAL OR NO DEAL CANADA - No.1 New Series in total viewers of the 2006-2007 season-to-date: 1. Deal or No Deal Canada - 2,020,000 viewers (Global) 2. Heroes - 1,320,000 (Global) 3. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader - 1,313,000 (Global) - No.1 New Series in key demo Adults 18-49 of the 2006-2007 season-to-date: 1. Deal or No Deal Canada - 898,000 viewers (Global) 2. Heroes - 894,000 (Global) 3. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader - 746,000 (Global) - No.1 Canadian Show in total viewers of the 2006-2007 season-to-date: 1. Deal or No Deal Canada - 2,020,000 viewers (Global) 2. Corner Gas - 1,424,000 (CTV) 3. Little Mosque - 1,069,000 (CBC) - No.1 Canadian Show in A18-49 of the 2006-2007 season-to-date: 1. Deal or No Deal Canada - 898,000 viewers (Global) 2. Corner Gas - 576,000 (CTV) 4. Little Mosque - 367,000 (CBC) - Deal or No Deal Canada's total viewership was higher than last summer's edition of CTV's Canadian Idol (1.8 million). - In all 3 major markets (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary), Deal or No Deal Canada ranks as one of the spring's Top 20 programs among total viewers and the only Canadian program in the Top 20 for A18-49. - 'Canada's Case Game', the mobile and online game broadcast during 4 episodes of Deal or No Deal Canada, received over 750,000 entries overall.

After a cross-country search for Canada’s next opera star, six finalists have been handpicked to take part in a rigorous opera boot camp in Toronto.

The six opera hopefuls, hailing from Quebec to Calgary, are Paul Abelha (construction worker, Hamilton), Elaine Jean Brown (part-time model, Calgary), Robyn Hefferton (activist / entrepreneur, Calgary), Phillip Holmes (student, Norway Bay, QC), Donna Jacobs (day care worker, South Shore, QC) and Laura Landauer (Celine Dion and Cher impersonator, Toronto). The candidates vary in background and experience, but they all share the same goal; to be the next “Bathroom Diva”!

In the series premiere that aired Saturday, February 10 on Bravo!, judges Mary Lou Fallis, Tom Diamond, Liz Upchurch and Daniel Lichti audition wannabe singers in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and Halifax. The six finalists are then thrown into opera boot camp, an exhaustive three-week crash course where they receive intensive voice training, acting technique, stage fighting and more than 12-hours-a-week of one-on-one coaching with opera’s finest. Antics ensue, flirtations blossom, conflicts arise – and divas are born.

Can Laura shake her Celine Dion-isms and find her own voice? Mother Elaine vs. daughter Robyn – who will make it further? Does Phil need a “Henry Higgins” to polish his country-boy ways? Can Donna bolster her self-confidence and find her inner diva? Will Paul build his dream and leave the construction site behind?

At the end of each episode, the remaining competitors showcase their newly-polished operatic skills at various venues in Toronto, including the Bravo! Rehearsal Hall, the Robert Gill Theatre and the historic Elgin Theatre. The judge’s criteria for selecting a winner is not only based on the protégés’ operatic singing abilities, but on their facility to learn and understand a new language such as Italian; how well they perform theatricality; and, above all, their ability to apply the coaches’ advice and critique.

Bathroom Divas culminates in the final episode with one singer selected as the winner and awarded the ultimate prize – a debut performance at The Orpheum Theatre with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in front of an audience of thousands.

Bathroom Divas airs Saturdays at 9pm ET / 6pm PT, with encore presentations Tuesdays at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.