CHUM: Not quite in the big leagues

Context: What worked best for CHUM last season, says Roma Khanna, SVP content, 'were Supernatural and Everybody Hates Chris. We also had continued success with America's Next Top Model and launched MuchMusic's VJ Search and Canada's Next Top Model as original series.'

Context: What worked best for CHUM last season, says Roma Khanna, SVP content, ‘were Supernatural and Everybody Hates Chris. We also had continued success with America’s Next Top Model and launched MuchMusic’s VJ Search and Canada’s Next Top Model as original series.’

What Khanna says disappointed her net were the U.S. nets’ cancellations of Everwood, The Bedford Diaries, Just Legal and Three Wishes.

2006/07 strategy: ‘We will keep building on the foundation with more primetime network simulcasts and by building proprietary brands like VJ Search and Canada’s Next Top Model,’ says Khanna.

She adds that the net ‘will also continue to build our leadership position in web, wireless and other emerging platforms…and continue to find innovative ways to connect our audiences with brands – on emerging platforms or within new shows.’

Best bets: ‘They’ve done somewhat well, but they haven’t done nearly as well as they had hoped,’ says Sheila Malanchuk, media strategy director, OMD Vancouver.

Despite Khanna’s assertion that Chris fared well, Malanuck says Chris, while a good show, hasn’t really caught on in Canada as it has in the U.S:’The show’s been averaging a 1.4 in Toronto and a 2.2 in Vancouver,” she says, according to BBM numbers for the 18-49 audience, tracked from Fall ’05 through Spring ’06. ‘And CHUM has moved it to Sundays at 6:30 p.m. for the fall, which won’t help the numbers.’

Based on its buys for this year, Malanchuk says Jericho might have some appeal, ‘but in terms of the rest of the programming they’ve picked up, it’s going to be a fight,’ she predicts. The one shining light could be Entourage, which has done really well on HBO.

This, however, will not be the year CHUM becomes the big national net it hopes to be. ‘I think they’ll probably stay where they are,’ she says.