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.

Calling all Canadian dancers! CTV has announced the details for the fast-approaching So You Think You Can Dance Canada cross-country audition tour beginning on Monday, April 7 in Vancouver. CTV also announced today that Calgary will become the fifth city on the tour, which also touches down in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada cross-country auditions are open to all Canadians who, as of April 1, 2008, are of the age of majority in the province/territory in which they reside, and are no older than 30 years of age. Registration begins at 9 a.m. in each city.

Auditions will be held at the locations and on the dates listed below (subject to change):

Vancouver, BC
Monday, April 7
The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts
777 Homer Street

Halifax, NS
Saturday, May 3
Bella Rose Arts Centre
283 Thomas Raddall Drive

Calgary, AB
Monday, May 12
MacEwan Conference & Event Centre
2500 University Drive N.W.

Montreal, QC
Tuesday, May 27
Théâtre St-Denis
1594 St-Denis Street

Toronto, ON
Thursday, June 5
Winter Garden Theatre
189 Yonge St.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada is designed to showcase and judge the talent of Canadian dancers who have roughly the same level of experience and maturity.

Among the rules and regulations that should be noted for the auditions:

* Competitors must be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
* All competitors must be legally eligible to work in Canada.
* Competitors must be of the age of majority in the province/territory in which they reside and no older than 30 years of age as of April 1, 2008. The age of majority is as follows: 18 years of age in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan; and 19 years of age in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon.
* All competitors must provide two pieces of identification, including a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s licence or passport), at the audition.
* Competitors may bring a non-competing dance partner for purposes of the audition.
* All competitors must bring with them, along with the proper ID, the signed personal release, the completed preliminary questionnaire, and the music sheet. All will be available at the audition site and for download soon at dance.ctv.ca.
* All competitors are asked to bring with them the completed music sheet indicating the music they will use in their audition, along with the CD containing the indicated music.
* All songs must be “original” songs that are commercially available and cannot be a re-mix of a song, a song downloaded from the Internet, or a competitor-created mix.
* Competitors must not wear any article of clothing with visible designer, sports or any other name, logos and/or artwork subject to protection by copyright or trademark laws.

Hit programming from CTV and its specialty channels The Comedy Network and MTV are now available from the iTunes Store in Canada.

CTV programs for purchase include Canada’s most-watched comedy series, Corner Gas, international hit Degrassi: The Next Generation, critically-acclaimed series Robson Arms and Gemini Award winner Instant Star. The Comedy Network’s hit series South Park, The Sarah Silverman Program and Drawn Together are also now available along with MTV in Canada’s The Hills.

“More platforms ultimately means more viewers,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Following our initiatives in Broadband and VOD, this content on iTunes raises awareness of these great Canadian series and specialty properties to different audiences. Additionally, it allows CTV viewers to play catch up as well, delivering CTV content on their own terms.”

“I’m very excited about Corner Gas being on iTunes,” said Brent Butt, star of Corner Gas. “Initially I was excited because I thought it meant Corner Gas was going to be turned into a musical. But it turns out I was confused. The show will be available on iTunes just the way we made it, which is also awesome.”

iTunes’ CTV content will allow viewers to catch up to previously-aired episodes and purchase just-broadcast episodes the day after their television premieres.

Award winning indie production teams Cynically Tested and I am..films are set to launch “Twixters” a satirical indie comedy series about twenty-something’s, caught between adolescence and adulthood.

“The series was created by twenty-somethings from all walks of life who came together because we felt our generation was constantly being misrepresented on television” say the show’s creators Dan Speerin and Wes McClintock.

The series makes its Canadian debut on Emmy Award winning Bite TV on November 27th at 9 pm. The series will also air on the U.K’s Propeller TV and reach 58 countries by early next year.

“Propeller TV supports international content and are glad to support ‘twixters’, a highly original and entertaining series” said John Offord, Programme Acquisition Manager, Propeller TV.

The twixters online community can be found on the internet at www.twixterstv.com.

Overwhelmed by the disorganization in your home but don’t want to pay a cleaner to straighten it up? Not sure how to tackle it yourself or how to get the family to help? Don’t despair!

Kim Woodburn, host of the hit UK series, “How Clean is Your House?” is looking for families like yours to participate in her new W Network TV series. If you and your family have strong, outgoing personalities and you’ve got issues around things like time management and lack of organization, contact us today and get your house – and your life – in order!

Contact Sheila: 416 531 2500 ext 715 or email: srisk@nextfilm.ca to find out more!

Global Television today announced the roster of nine contestants on ‘ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A CANADIAN 5TH GRADER?’. Who will rise to the challenge and who will need to confess that it’s not as easy as it looks?

A professor, a lawyer, an air traffic controller and even a nuclear engineer are put to the intellectual and emotional test… as 5 special homegrown editions of the primetime hit debut October 25th @ 9pm ET/PT.

Chosen from all hopefuls who made the first cut at globaltv.com, these nine Canadians represent a highly qualified cross-section of the nation’s top careers – each with the guts to test their grey matter on the CANADIAN 5TH GRADER stage, aided by a panel of seven kid classmates. Though each contestant is learned and accomplished, their degrees and careers take a backseat to the basic schoolhouse questions doled out by quizmaster Host, Colin Mochrie.

“The wide range of professional occupations among our contestants is a huge part of the fun of these shows,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for CanWest MediaWorks. “We know audiences nationwide will tune in to support their favourites as they work towards a million dollar prize, and the official bragging rights of being smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader.”

Contestants Ian Clark (Lawyer) and April Whalen (Marketing Professional) kick off the first of five special 1-hour episodes next week.

The ‘ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A CANADIAN 5TH GRADER?’ CONTESTANTS include:

Ian Clark – Lawyer, Ottawa, ON

Peter Hazelton – Air Traffic Controller, Oshawa, ON

Michelle Kennedy – Nuclear Engineer, Pembroke, ON

Andrew Oster – Veterinarian, Midland, ON

Alicia Roddy – Occupational Therapist, Ajax, ON

Mark Szliard – Environmental Engineer, Toronto, ON

April Whalen – Marketing Professional, Sudbury, ON

Genevieve Wu – Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, Toronto, ON

Sandra Zicherman – Professor, North York, ON

After ending season 4 with the biggest season finale in the shows history drawing in more than 2 million viewers, CTV’s Corner Gas returns tonight for its 5th season.

Corner Gas charted an astonishing 67 per cent audience growth during series 4 and finished 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.

Across the River to Motor City is a hot new Canadian drama on Citytv which starts in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto at 10pm on the 22nd of November and at 10pm on the 19th in Winnipeg.

Synopsis

Benjamin Ford is an ordinary man living in extraordinary times. On a sunny Friday in November 1963, his girlfriend takes a flight to Dallas – and disappears. Nothing will ever be the same. Not for Ben. Not for anyone.

A mystery that begins the day of the Kennedy assassination reverberates through to the 21st century, pulling in Ben’s adult daughter, Kathleen, and her family. ACROSS THE RIVER TO MOTOR CITY is set against the backdrop of two remarkable eras, seen through two unique and entwined communities.

Detroit and Windsor couldn’t be more different in outlook, size, and temperament. Yet they’re linked as solidly as the steel of an auto assembly line, like the beat of a soul classic: as we all are linked inexorably to our past. The forces that shape and bind us, the mysteries that propel us, the regrets that consume us – ACROSS THE RIVER TO MOTOR CITY explores two nations, two decades, and one unforgettable mystery. It’s about people caught in the sweep of great events – and how families weather the storm of history.

Brian Melo has been crowned the 5th Canadian Idol edging out Jaydee Bixby in this year’s season finale of the hit TV show.

Brian’s debut single, Brian Melo - All I Ever Wanted - Single - All I Ever Wanted All I Ever Wanted, will no doubt top the charts in the coming weeks as the debut singles of previous Canadian Idols Ryan Malcolm, Kalan Porter, Melissa O’Neil and Eva Avila did.

There is nothing else like it in the entire country. It’s a ticket to the top of Canadian music. For the singers that have made this journey the rewards are many and the comparisons are few. And for every idol, the top of the charts and millions of fans await. Over 30 albums and a million units sold, tonight either Jaydee Bixby or Brian Melo will join Ryan Malcolm, Kalan Porter, Melissa O’Neil and Eva Avila as a Canadian Idol.

Kicking off tonight’s show is the top 10 singing a tribute to Bon Jovi Bon Jovi which includes the songs Bon Jovi - This Left Feels Right - You Give Love a Bad Name You Give Love a Bad Name, Bon Jovi - Chronicles (Box Set) - Blaze of Glory Blaze of Glory, Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet - Livin' on a Prayer Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi - New Jersey - I'll Be There for You I’ll be There For You, Bon Jovi - (You Want To) Make a Memory - Single - (You Want To) Make a Memory (You Want To) Make a Memory and Bon Jovi - Chronicles (Box Set) - I'll Be There for You I’ll Be There for You.

Almost five million votes were cast last night and nearly 37 million votes over the entire season.

At just 22 she’s already sold an incredible 33 million album and her new album Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing The Best Damn Thing has sold platinum in 8 countries. Performing Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing - Hot Hot off her new album is Avril Lavigne Avril Lavigne. She also performs Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing - When You're Gone When You’re Gone.

Singing some of the favourite songs from this season are the Top 10. Mila Miller sings Mary J. Blige - My Life - I'm Going Down I’m Going Down, Khalila Glanville sings P!nk - M!ssundaztood - Family Portrait Family Portrait, Martha Joy sings Céline Dion - The Colour of My Love - The Power of Love The Power of Love, Greg Neufeld sings Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane - This Love This Love, Tara Oram sings Elvis Presley - Elvis #1 Singles - Suspicious Minds Suspicious Minds, Matt Rapley sings
The Allman Brothers Band - The Allman Brothers Band: A Decade of Hits 1969-1979 - Whipping Post Whipping Post
, Dwight d’Eon sings Santana - Supernatural - Smooth (feat. Rob Thomas) Smooth, Carly Rae Jepsen sings Sarah Slean - Sarah Slean - Sweet Ones Sweet Ones and then Jaydee Bixby and Brian Melo sing John Mayer - Continuum - Waiting On the World to Change Waiting On the World to Change before the rest of the top 10 come out to help them finish off the song.

Bon Jovi Bon Jovi perform Bon Jovi - Lost Highway - Lost Highway Lost Highway, the title track from their new album and Bon Jovi - This Left Feels Right - It's My Life It’s My Life.

For the last time this season, the top ten perform together and sing Michael Bublé - Home - Song For You (Album Version) A Song For You as a huge thanks to all the fans of Canadian Idol who watch the show every week and vote.

Last year’s winner Eva Avila Eva Avila has had a big year with her album which included three chart topping singles and a Juno nomination and now she’s here to sing Eva Avila - Somewhere Else - Fallin' for You Fallin’ For You.

Jaydee performs Chuck Berry - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Blues Rock Songbook - Johnny B. Goode Johnny B. Goode and puts his final individual stamp on the show before Brian sings what was possibly his best performance of the season, The Bad Plus - Exit Music (Radiohead Tribute) - Karma Police Karma Police.

Jaydee and Brian perform a medley together that includes The Doors - The Doors - Break on Through Break on Through, Big Wreck - In Loving Memory Of... - That Song That Song, Elvis Presley - The Hillbilly Cat - That's Alright Mama That’s Alright Mama, Rob Thomas - Something to Be - Streetcorner Symphony Streetcorner Symphony.

It’s time for the results. After nearly five million votes, Brian Melo is your next Canadian Idol.

He sings his new song Brian Melo - All I Ever Wanted - Single - All I Ever Wanted All I Ever Wanted as the confetti falls and the crowd cheers.

After enduring 15 grueling expeditions using both his brawn and cunning, 23 year old Ben Fagan of Charleston, South Carolina has beat out 15 competitors to discover Captain Henry Steel’s treasure worth half a million dollars and claim the title of Pirate Master.

On making it to the final three, Christa, Jay and Ben get a reward of Cheese, Bread and Pinot.

It’s a scary and stormy looking morning. Christa is feeling strange and didn’t get much sleep last night. Today, it’s all about captain steele’s treasure. There is a rainbow out on the ocean and they’re wondering if the treasure is there.

There is one final lock on the chest of zanzibar and when they open it they discover that it isn’t actually their final expedition. Captain Steel writes that his treasure is out there but only two will compete for it. They have to find the first mates fortune which will then have what they need to find the treasure that is worth half a million dollars.

The pirates are all competing by themselves and have to translate some latin in order to find the clues to the treasure. They need swim ashore and find a narrow bridge over a gorge where they will find a hanging sword and their next clue. Ben arrives first with Jay not far behind. They all arrive and search for the swords and then have to race down a trail to a pool where there is an inscribed boulder where they will have to decipher their next clue.

Ben arrives at the boulder first where there is some latin inscription. Christa arrives just as Ben is leaving. He says that the clue had to retrace their steps where they can sabotage their competition and then find their next clue hidden underwater deep in the jungle.

Ben and Jay get across the bridge and then Jay chops the ropes to send the bridge to the bottom of the gorge. Christa gets to the bridge and is gutted to find it has gone and has to follow a different path.

Ben struggles to keep his lead and finds the next clue which says the gold is under the waterfall. Ben finds the treasure leaving Jay out of gas and Christa somewhere in the jungle.

Jay says that if he’d cut Ben last night then he would have won today. Christa doesn’t mind as long as she pulls out the last treasure.

Back on the ship, they open the chest and there are two clues along with $50,000 which Ben gets to keep. As Christa and Jay have helped look out for him, he splits the money with them as an appeasement for some of his actions throughout the competition.

At the pirates court, all the pirates that have been cut adrift climb back onto the ship to pass judgement on Jay and Christa. Christa and Jay put forward their case. Jay knows that he’s offended everyone but thinks that he played the game like a real pirate and that there were never any princess pirates. There are some interesting comments from the pirates who have already been cut adrift. Joe Don says Jay is not a pirate master but a puppet master.

13 ghosts and 13 ballots with no option for mutiny. Christa recieves 1 ballot and Jay gets the other 12. However, Jay will not be cut adrift. He joins the ghosts that and is told that they all have a role to play.

There is one final pirates court where each of the ghosts must put their case forward as to why they should be recruited to be on either Christa or Ben’s crew. The teams must each have two men and two women. Ben offers to split $80,000 with the three who join his crew if he wins.

The teams are chosen and are:

On the black crew: Captain Ben, Cheryl, Azmyth and Nessa

On the red crew: Christa, John, Jay and Nessa

Since there is a conflict, the choice is up to Nessa. Ben offers her a $10,000 insurance policy but Christa matches it and sticks with her. Ben then chooses Jupiter as the final pirate on his crew.

The big moment has arrived. The final expedition begins for the search for the $500,000 treasure and the title of Pirate Master.

The crews have to row to shore and race up a hill to some caves where there are some chinese puzzle boxes which they must untie and then unlock draws in which they will find their next clue. The black crew arrive first to shore but the red crew catch up and pass.

They then need to carry the boxes up the hill to an armoury and find a key inside a cannon. The box is over 100 pound and all the uneven ground makes it tough going. The black key arrive first and open the second draw which has a deck of cards. They have an order in which to sort the cards and then around the outside of the completed pack is their next clue which reads backwards “Under Cannon Balls”. They race to a room that is full with cannon balls and dig around and find a captains wheel which has another clue on it. “Will you find the treasure or will you fail? Your fate is still unknown. Only you may travel up this trail. Leave your ghosts and go forth alone.”

The finalists must head up the trail to captain steels chambers..

The red team can’t figure out the cards and see the black crew coming out of the cannon ball room with the wheel and figure that’s where they must be. They find their wheel as well and Christa races up the hill after Ben.

At the top of the hill, Ben mounts the wheel to a coat of arms and decipher a code that will reveal the location of the treaure and also find a locked box with a key to open the final chest. As it turns out, the treasure is inside the chest of zanzibar. Ben races down the hill with his steel box and meets up with his crew and race back down the trail and row back to the ship.

The red crew are a way behind and by the time the red crew get to the beach, the black crew are halfway to the ship. Ben must complete the expedition on his own once he gets back to the ship and he has to find brass puzzle pieces hidden in the chest and assemble them to reveal the combination to the lock. Ben is working away at solving the puzzle when Christa arrives. Ben gets his puzzle done and opens his metal chest to pull out a silver key which unlocks the final compartment in the chest which reveals $500,000 in gold.