By: Terri-Lynne Waldron
The CTV Upfront Press Conferences were held yesterday at Bell Media Queen Street and the network unveiled some of their new fall, summer and returning series. The line-up will be a mix of comedy, drama, reality and talk.
Here are some of the highlights.
The reality show, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, will have a Canadian take on its American counterpart. The teams will travel through the country’s urban centre where they will explore its broad outposts as well as the cultural diversity, wildlife and iconic landmarks. The show will be hosted by Jon Montgomery, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Gold medallist in skeleton. Montgomery was joined at the press conference by executive producer John Brunton.
Brunton explained why Montgomery was the best person for the job.
“We wanted to do something a little different with our host in Canada than what they do on the US program,” he said of the show that debuts on July 15. “We thought it would be an opportunity to give our show Canadian DNA.” It was also Montgomery’s athleticism and personality that helped him to make the grade.
So what did the Olympic champion think sealed the deal for him?
“It was the arm wrestle that really solidified it for me in the interview process, ” he said. “I nailed it, I got the arm wrestle down and so I think the job was mine.”
The romantic comedy, SATISFACTION, is about struggling with the next step and trying to figure out how to get satisfaction. Cast members Luke Macfarlane, Leah Renee, Ryan Belleville and creator Tim McAuliffe were all on hand.
Inspired by a slice of his own life, McAuliffe explained the show’s premise. “It’s based on me living for five years with a couple and the actual first episode is about the blackout that happened here in Toronto. I lived up in College and Ossington and we had a huge party during the blackout.”
Belleville and Renee weighed in on the chemistry that the cast share.
“It’s always strange working with new people in this business on a regular basis,” said Belleville. “There’s always lot’s of laughter and we have a great time when the camera’s aren’t rolling too.”
“We get along really well,” agreed Renee.
As Canada’s #1 new TV series, THE FOLLOWING has a lot to live up to. This psychological thriller sees a former FBI agent (played by Kevin Bacon), coming out of retirement to catch a murderous killer and his cult of followers. Co-stars Shawn Ashmore and Valorie Currey greeted the press.
Currey revealed her unique working relationship with Bacon.
“Shawn works with him a lot more often than I do, and I avoid working with him for my own survival on the show. But he’s great.”
“He’s the kind of actor that makes you raise your game,” added Ashmore. “You don’t want to be the one in the scene to drop the ball.”
The cast are not afraid of the sophomore jinks as they head into the second season.
“I think it’s more exciting,” said Ashmore. “We have a foothold of who these characters are and I feel that the sky’s the limit.”
Former Real Housewives of New York reality star, Bethenny Frankel is gearing up for the debut of her daytime talk show, BETHENNY. The self-professed “Queen of Too Much Information” will cover love and relationships, celebrities, beauty and pop culture.
Not one to shy away from…well anything, Frankel’s show allows her to share an open dialogue with her viewers.
“There’s no topic that is off-limit on the show,” she said. “I am not interested in being mean to anyone or making anyone feel badly. I want it to be a place without judgement where we’re really honest.”
When asked what separates BETHENNY from other daytime talk shows, Frankel responded confidently.
“Hopefully, I separate myself.”