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CTV wants its MTV; Craig says, great
10/28/2003

TORONTO - CTV returned from European TV fair MIPCOM recently with another MTV show to add to network programming.

The company bought the rights to Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. This follows MTV brands The Osbournes and Punk'd, which have already been added to the CTV schedule. Since its premiere on MTV in August, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica has become the second-most-watched cable series after Sex and the City. The 10-episode, half-hour series documents the first steps of matrimony of pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, "from bathroom to recording studio," says the press release. A broadcast date will be announced soon.

Launched in September, Punk'd, a celebrity sort of Candid Camera, has been successful for CTV and rates in the top 20 in Canada this fall, says the company.

But, what of Craig Media, owners of MTV Canada? Do they think CTV is stealing their thunder and hindering penetration of the category one digital channel? Nope, says Craig's vice-president of programming Michael Taylor. In fact, just the opposite.

"As far as we're concerned, when we have one of the biggest, most substantial networks in Canada taking those programs, it does a lot for MTV Canada as well as for the programs," Taylor told www.broadcastermagazine.com today.

Plus, since MTV Canada has the exclusive first window on the shows and CTV the second in Canada, viewers who can't wait months to see actor Ashton Kuchar make fools out of his latest celeb-victims, for example, must buy a satellite dish or get digital cable.

MTV skews young anyway, adds Taylor and, "young people most quickly adopt digital and are most inclined to see those shows now and not wait."

CTV also added MTV Networks' Comedy Central anchor program The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to the main network's lineup, ostensibly to replace departed Canuck comic Mike Bullard in the late night slot. Bullard, as has been reported here, took his shtick to Global, and will launch his new show next month. The Daily Show will continue to be seen on CTV's The Comedy Network, too.

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