New on the specialty dial

Check out the new shows the networks have up their sleeves to capture eyeballs.

Carnival Eats

The fight for specialty eyeballs is on. What do the networks have up their sleeves and which TV shows are they banking on being the next Real Housewives or Hell’s Kitchen? Check it out.

Food fight

Food trucks compete against each other in the new show Food Truck Face Off, hosted by former NFL quarterback (and former Bachelor star) Jesse Palmer on Food Network Canada.

Taking food testing to the local county fair is Food Network Canada’s new Carnival Eats, which looks at the outrageous foods featured at exhibitions across the country and the personalities who create them.

Canadian eating gets multi-platform with Shaw Media’s upcoming The Great Canadian Cookbook, which promises to give Canadians a forum to post and share recipes online, with a broadcast special featuring some of the national cooks coming next winter on Food Network Canada.

Corus’ W Network is hoping to place a foot firmly in the food category with the launch of Million Dollar Critic, which follows British restaurant critic Giles Coren around North America as he tries out the local fare and hands down his opinions (which have been known to make or break restaurants).

Back in time

Showcase is headlining its fall schedule with Outlander, which is based on the best-selling novels by Diana Gabaldon and starts on Sunday, Aug. 24. The show will follow the story of a combat nurse from 1945 who is swept back in time to 1743 and forced to marry a young Scottish warrior.

Searching for dinos

History will be following paleontologists from Alberta’s badlands to the Bay of Fundy in the upcoming multi-platform Dino Hunt series next winter. The show features an interactive component, with the dinosaur found in the series eventually brought to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum and portions of the coverage being streamed online at


A twist on vampires

Aiming to tell the vampire myth story from a new angle, Oscar-nominated director and producer Guillermo del Toro produced The Strain, which bows July 13 on FX Canada. The show follows the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City as he and his team investigate a mysterious viral outbreak.

Bringing a new audience to FXX

The traditionally male-focused FXX aims to also attract women with two new comedies, both launching this summer; Married and You’re the Worst. Both shows start on July 17, with Married attempting to give a painfully honest look at marriage and You’re the Worst showing two of the most horrible people you will ever see on TV who meet and fall for one another.

The Royals - Season: 1Drama comes to E!

Bell Media’s reality-focused channel is getting its first injection of scripted drama with the launch of the Elizabeth Hurley-starring show The Royals, which starts mid-season. Hurley plays the Queen of England whose son (the prince) starts dating one of her American staffers.

New comedies for Comedy

Bell Media’s MacLeod says she was impressed with the offerings of the laughers at the L.A. Screenings. Comedy picked up some of her favourites of the bunch like Buzzy’s, from the creators of Will & Grace, which follows barbershop owner George Wendt and his staff at a small-town hair shop. Also joining the channel is police procedural spoof Angie Tribeca, which stars Parks and Recreation’s Rashida Jones in the title role.

Super kids

YTV has three new shows coming this fall that put kids in the hero seat, with Henry Danger, Max & Shred and Looped all featuring an element of the extraordinary. Henry Danger follows the adventures of a sidekick-in-training to Captain Man. Max & Shred is a buddy comedy that chronicles the tales of a superstar snowboarder as he moves in with anxious academic Alvin and his family. Looped takes a page from Groundhog Day, with best friends living the same Monday over and over again.

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