Global/CH: Slow and steady build

Context: With seven shows in the top 20, it's no wonder Barbara Williams, SVP programming and production, says last season was 'an important year for us in terms of building some momentum back into the schedule and getting traction with some key shows.'

Context: With seven shows in the top 20, it’s no wonder Barbara Williams, SVP programming and production, says last season was ‘an important year for us in terms of building some momentum back into the schedule and getting traction with some key shows.’

Among Global’s major successes: Prison Break, My Name is Earl and Deal or No Deal on CH. As well, House ‘really took off in its second season and was a spectacular anchor for Tuesday [while] Survivor continued to be not only a top 10 show, but a number one show,’ she says.

But Florence Ng, VP broadcast investments at ZenithOptimedia, says the station could have fared better. ‘A lot of the programs they picked up got moved around [by the American nets]. For example, when The Apprentice got moved, Global had to move 24, which had been very strong in its spot.’

2006/07 strategy: Prior to their upfront presentation, Williams said the station needed to work on its mid-week offering: ‘We’re looking to find some strengths for Wednesday night [because] it needs some rejigging.’

Best bests: After the U.S. upfront, CanWest walked away with the most new shows of any Canadian net – 14 dramas and eight comedies. ‘They’ve picked up a pretty good cross-section of shows,’ says Sheila Malanchuk, media strategy manager at OMD Vancouver. She points to Six Degrees, ‘which has been getting some good buzz.’ Slated for Wednesday nights, it joins Bones and another new show, Kidnapped.

She also likes Vanished, which will run after last year’s hit Prison Break on Monday nights. ‘I think Monday nights will be strong for them.’

She also thinks scheduling Friday Night Lights, which will join House on Tuesdays, could pay off. ‘There’s not a lot going on in that time period, so it might catch on.’ Thursdays will be tough, however, even with its mainstay ratings winner, Survivor, given that ABC has moved its hit show Grey’s Anatomy to Thursdays. For CTV, that means Grey’s joins CSI and ER.

Overall, ‘it’s an improvement,’ she says of CanWest’s lineup this year. ‘Not a huge one, but it will help them this season.’