The Shows – CTV

The Holmes Show

The Holmes Show

(22 x 30 min.)

CTV, Thursdays 8-8:30 pm

the story: A made-in-Canada ‘edgy, Carol Burnett-style sketch-comedy’ series, The Holmes Show just might deliver the goods (mercifully, sans the bad Burnett hair). Starring Second City alumna Jessica Holmes, the show will give her improv skills the chance to shine as they did on her one-hour Comedy Now! Special, Holmes Alone. The Ottawa native has an impressive resume, including a 2001 Platinum Award at the Worldfest International Film Festival in Houston, a Gemini Award nomination, and a Canadian Comedy Award.

the cast: Holmes (The Itch), actor/improv funnyman Roman Danylo, and newcomer Kurt Smeaton.

the verdict: Sketch and improv comedy is always tough to gauge. Will it be Whose Line is it Anyway? hilarity (the U.K., not U.S. version) or a Saturday Night Live spin-off embarrassment? It’s all up to Holmes.

the backing: Produced by Year End Productions (Rita MacNeil’s Celtic Celebration) in association with CTV and The Comedy Network.


(13 x 60 min.)

CTV/WB, Saturdays 9-10 pm

the story: Dr. Andrew Brown trades in a successful medical practice in Manhattan for the Colorado wilds after his wife dies. Raising two young kids, he opens up a general practice and offers his services for free in the town of Everwood.

the cast: Treat Williams (Prince of the City, The Late Shift), Gregory Smith (The Patriot)

the verdict: This one has critics abuzz and is the WB’s best shot at a new hit this season. It’s about time someone had the sense to produce a show that isn’t about greed, teenage angst or serial crime. Even if it turns out to be a little hokey that’s okay, TV could use some genuinely wholesome fare.

the backing: Very solid producing team including Dawson’s Creek alum Greg Berlanti. The network could score viewers on Mondays and will try to play off broad appeal of the series. If it gets viewers early the net will back it up with a good deal of muscle. SB

Just For Laughs – Gags

(13 x 30 min.)

CTV, Saturdays 10-10:30 pm/Comedy Network

the story: Touted as one of CTV’s three new Canadian series, this Candid Camera Canuck-style show has already aired for a couple of seasons on Comedy Network. Featuring practical jokes played on unsuspecting Montrealers, the only problem with Gags is that you’re never quite sure if you’re laughing at someone’s misfortune or nervously chuckling because the prank wasn’t pulled on you.

the cast: A hidden, shaky camera, a laugh track and throngs of unsuspecting souls.

the verdict: Not the most original idea, yet it can often incite a giggle or two. The gags could be greatly improved with scenes following the situation where the sucker is pounding the tar out of the pranksters. Could be a new Fox series: When Suckers Fight Back.

the backing: Created, pranked and produced by The Comedy Network.

Dr. Phil (working title)

(30 min.)

CTV, Monday-Friday 5-5:30 pm

the story: Dr. Phillip C. McGraw, known to many as ‘Dr. Phil,’ on The Oprah Winfrey Show is branching away from the Big O’s grip to his own national talk show. The doctor plans to break down current events and ‘real world issues’ in hopes of discovering a practical solution for audiences and viewers. Daytime TV hounds across North America can’t wait to see other people’s problems broadcast, thus proliferating the ‘thank goodness it’s not me’ syndrome.

the cast: The loveable Dr. Phil and plenty of tissues.

the verdict: Just another talk show, but at least the audience is already familiar with the host. As long as there are spotlight hogs willing to air their disorders on national television, people will keep watching.

the backing: Brought to the tube in partnership with Harpo Productions (The Oprah Winfrey Show), Paramount Television and King World.

The Eleventh Hour

(13 x 60 min.)

CTV (mid-season replacement), date and time TBA

the story: This year’s only new Canadian drama is a behind-the-scenes look at investigative journalism set at a fictional news magazine. The series starts with how the stories come about and ends with how they are put together, all the while bringing to life the conflict that happens in a newsroom, complete with paranoid lawyers, personal agendas and ego clashes.

the cast: Casting will be announced later in the summer.

the verdict: The explosion of media hype during 9/11 and the subsequent ‘War on Terrorism’ upped the public’s general interest in TV news, which could translate into more viewers.

the backing: Production will begin in August on this Alliance Atlantis production in association with CTV. Semi Chellas and Ilana Frank are co-creators and executive producers; Chellas is also head writer. Alliance’s Anne Marie La Traverse is executive producer. David Wellington is creative producer and will direct seven episodes.