Heading down to the Rogers/City-TV Fall Launch upfront this afternoon at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. With CTV and Global keeping their hands in their pockets for once, Rogers were the big spenders down at the LA screenings this spring, buying 16 hours of imported fare. Guess their business model isn't broken! Look for the City scoop in the next TVFMF post.
In the meantime, the Banff International TV Fest is currently underway out west. Had a blast when I moderated a critics' panel there two years ago but have not been back since. Feeling better about that since it is snowing there today! But Banff is a glorious venue, offering just stunning scenery and plenty of schmooze time. Curious to hear how the TV market is moving in this tough economy, if the usual wheeling and dealing is going on in the Banff Springs Hotel.
Some usual suspects nabbed prizes at last night's Banff World Television Awards, including Victor Garber (seen now on Showtime/TMN's Nurse Jackie) and Paul Gross (playing the devil this fall in Eastwick, which seems about right after tricking so many school kids into going on field trips to see that cheesy soap opera Paschendale). Writer/comedian Mark McKinney also picked up a pointy statue at the big, fat, sponsorella of an award wank. Read more about the awards here.
The munchies might be a little stale and the booze a little thinner at this year's fest. Three of the main sponsors, Canwest, CTV and CBC, are laying off more people than GM and Chrysler. How tough is it out there? Breakfast with a Decision Maker this year is hosted by a Sheriff's officer and a liquidator.
Fewer big names are at panels, although there are execs from U.S. cable channels like Hallmark, BET and ABC Family on the floor. That the international TV festival is even happening this year is a tribute to the new teaming pulling this all together.
In Montreal meanwhile, two Canadian TV legends never honoured in Banff (an organization that gave a lifetime achievement award to Border temp Sophia Milos last year!) are finally getting their due. Royal Canadian Air Farcers Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson were both bestowed homourary doctorate degrees from Concordia University yesterday. Doctors Abbott and Ferguson were joined by new doctor Jean Beliveau, which is pretty cool company. Says Abbott: "I walked away without my BA all those years ago...I guess all is forgiven!"