Ivan Fecan actually said it: "A comes before E!, except after CTV."
The CTV CEO (above), standing on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre For The Performing Arts in Toronto, was giving advertisers the scoop on the new season at today's 2008 Upfront. He was referring to the rebranded, CTV-owned A-Channel, now called "The A." Hundreds of ad account managers and a few dozen TV reporters groaned at the joke, but here's the punch line: A comes before CTV when it comes to new shows this fall.
Remember how I suggested that CBC had blown a golden opportunity to launch something new this fall given the dearth of new U.S. content due to the writer's strike? Well, here is the size of that missed opportunity: CTV HAS NO NEW U.S. IMPORTS ON THEIR SCHEDULE NEXT FALL. ZERO. They loaded them all over the "The A." The broadcaster has split itself into a mom and dad network--CTV--and a teen network--The A. CTV keeps all the old stuff: ER, still Thursdays at 10, Without a Trace, Law & Order, Criminal Minds...with anything remotely new--Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Gossip Girl, Samantha Who? and fall U.S. rookies The Mentalist, Fringe and Eleventh Hour--premiering on The A.
Programming president Susanne Boyce actually said "I think viewers will go mental for The Mentalist," which, well, was a pretty mental thing to say. The whole "The A" thing was branded right into the cookies passed out later at the upfront after party, helping ad buyers to digest the new concept.