Here at TV Feeds My Family it is all about the shoes. Not to be outdone by red pumps programmer Kirstine Layfield at CBC or CTV's sensible shoe wearer Susanne Boyce, Global executive V.P. for content Barbara Williams (above) stepped up today and showed off her power pumps. The sole session occurred following Global's 2008 upfront at Toronto's Elgin Theatre, which was jammed with ad execs scoping out the latest wares from the media conglomerate.
Williams thinks this whole Canadian network women in power deal is all about timing rather than gender. Both she and Layfield did their field work programming specialty channels at Alliance Atlantis. Williams credits those opportunities with preparing them for the network gigs they enjoy today.
In any event, she fearlessly went toe-to-toe with me for the TV Feeds My Family photo op, surprising the hell out of CanWest chief marketing officer Walter Levitt, who expected her to give my request the boot.
Williams will have to step around a trickier programming call next season when Joss Whedon's Dollhouse premieres. The sci-fi drama is one of two new shows this coming season which will air with fewer commercials in the U.S., where one or two big corporate sponsors will underwrite the unusual programming ploy for Fox.
This means headaches for Global and CTV (which has the other "heavy" show, J.J. Abrams' Fringe), especially now that Canadian networks, thanks to some bargaining last year before the CRTC, now cram in more commercial time per hour than their American counterparts.
Williams says the studio behind Dollhouse plans to provide an international version that would fit into conventional network timeslots (usually about 44 minutes). She'd like to see that version as well as the longer one before deciding if Global will run long or short, simulcast or substitute. Dollhouse does not premiere until mid-season.
In other shoe news, Williams wasn't the only one doing the leg work at the Global upfront. Fellow shoe wearers and Global publicists Nikki Lamb (above) and Jacqueline Kendall (left) also flashed some fancy footware. Remember, no other TV site gives you so many feet of Canadian network upfront coverage. Look for the new spinoff site "Foot Fetish Feeds My Family," coming to a world wide web near you.
Next post: talking car gets top billing at Global upfront.