|Glee's Iqbal Theba hauls me down to the principal's office|
In years past, mobs of cranky ACTRA members have targeted the big Global ad industry show, driving home the point that Canadian TV networks rarely involve themselves with Canadian scripted television and this whole Can-com deal is a charade.
That would have been out of step this year what with Shaw cranking out a whole lot of Can-con on its specialty channels, particularly on Showcase. Lost Girl, Haven and King were three scripted Canadian dramas that connected with audiences this past season. Altogether, Shaw has 15 Canadian scripted series in development for next season, more than any other broadcaster.
Unfortunately Endgame, the intriguing Vancouver-based drama starring Shawn Doyle as a Russian chess master solving crimes from his hotel room, failed to draw an audience and missed the cut. Another series, XIII, is still waiting to hear if it goes XIII 2.
Shaw senior VP Barb Williams had plenty of new to throw at the ad kids during a 90-minute stage presentation Tuesday in Toronto at the Sony Centre (the same venue CTV is using Thursday). A second helping of Top Chef Canada has been ordered, and the new reality series Real Housewives Vancouver has been greenlit. King is also a go for season two and may get a window on the main network. There was no word as to a second season of Wipeout Canada on TVTropolis but it is certainly drawing on the specialty channel.
|Former breakdancer Matthew Morrison|
There were the usual parade of dudes in designer suits and specs on stage making with the multiple platform talk. Shaw had made a deal to provide access to all the NBC Universal web sites. Fine, but what about Hulu?
Video shout outs from the stars of various Global shows cranked up the pseudo star power. The Office's Rainn Wilson needed a shave but did a bit, the NCIS dudes made funny. There were a lot of people saying sorry I can't be there with you, including Bello, Ivanka Trump, Josh Charles and Emily Rose from Haven. Hugh Laurie told the ad kids he was being "irrigated now as I speak," which was creepy.
Matthew Morrison from Glee starte apologizing for not being there and then suddenly he was there, hosting, singing, dancing--Global worked him harder than Sue Sylvester works Mr. Shue. Jane Lynch appeared on the giant video screen to introduce Morrison, "or as I like to call him," she cracked, "Mr. Second Choice."
Two actors from Glee, Dot Marie Jones (Coach Beiste) and Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) were nonetheless gracious and accommodating, especially later at the Shaw party in the Sony Centre's grand foyer. Theba was hanging with a buddy from back home who he went to high school with; the gentlemen now lives in St. Catherines.
Theba had a guest star turn on Community last season and hopes to be invited back. Even though they are on different networks, he says Glee and Community both shoot on the same lot so it was an easy move to slip back and forth between shows.
Before getting into acting, Theba had a whole other life as a civil engineer. As they say on those Global bumper throws, Huh.
By the time Morrison worked his way down to the press room he looked ready to grab his gift basket and fly the hell home. He didn't think there was much chance Montreal native Jesslyn Gilsig will be back on the series next season. Her character is newly divorced from Mr. Shue and the series appears to be movin' on. Too bad, Glee will be down one Canuck.
|Murtz Jaffer is Reality Obsessed|
Ran into Insight's John Brunton again at the Shaw Show. The dude is the Canadian Mark Burnett, working deals all over town. His CBC celeb shinny series Battle of the Blades is looking for a new venue, however. He's been kicked out of that cavernous sound stage by the lake to make room for the new Terminator movie, so if you have an arena that needs filling, give him a call.
Global also announced a new morning show featuring former City morning show host Liza Fromer along with Kris Reyes and Dave Gerry. Global used to have a morning show, and then they junked it and ran the E channel morning show, and then they junked E, and...well, the CRTC will be happy.
Thursday: CTV hosts its annual upfront for advertisers in Toronto.