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Actors, CTV, lob verbal bombs

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(ACTRA) The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists
CTV Inc.
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Labor/union news
TORONTO - In a move that's got to go down as one of the most unbridled cases of chutzpah in Canadian television history, Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood recently appeared on CTV's Canada AM and hammered the broadcaster for its treatment of his new TV movie, which aired on CTV.

Towards the end of an appearance on the morning show on September 2nd to pump The Life, Greenwood said, "CTV chose to bury it on a holiday weekend where it's not going to be seen," referring to its air date this past Labour Day weekend.

His union, ACTRA, came to his defense, as well. "ACTRA Toronto is fully in support of statements made by Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood concerning CTV's failure to adequately promote Canadian films such as his current project, The Life," said a press release.

"It�is connected to wanting to prove that American programming is the only thing that is going to bring in the numbers. So they make it a self-fulfilling prophecy by burying the Canadian programming," added Greenwood on Canada AM. The veteran Gemini Award-winning actor also starred in the summer movie I, Robot this year.

"ACTRA has been campaigning to have the CRTC change its television regulations which currently encourage private broadcasters to show U.S. films and programming in prime time-slots at the expense of Canadian programming," adds the press release.

"It's a brave thing for an actor to do, to speak one's mind as Bruce has done, and tell a Canadian broadcaster to its face that it's not doing enough. He deserves our support and solidarity. He already has our respect," said Richard Hardacre, president of ACTRA Toronto Performers.

CTV, not surprisingly, had a different viewpoint, coming up with its own press release, "to set the record straight," it said.

"CTV has the No. 1 Canadian drama, the No. 1 Canadian family drama, the No. 1 Canadian comedy, the No. 1 Canadian variety program, the No. 1 Canadian documentary series and the No. 1 local and national newscasts. We believe in quality Canadian programming and work extremely hard to develop, promote and properly schedule them as our track record clearly demonstrates," reads the release.

"CTV's upcoming movie The Life is enjoying a massive multi-level promotional campaign that includes extensive on-air, print and publicity components. We're confident that the scheduling of this movie, Sunday, September 5 at 9 p.m. ET, will deliver the optimum audience for this fine movie.

"In the highly competitive months of September and October alone, the CTV schedule will proudly feature the following Canadian programs: the season premiere of Canada's most-watched all-Canadian drama Degrassi: The Next Generation; the season premiere of television's most watched comedy Corner Gas; the season premiere of Canada's longest-serving current television drama Cold Squad; the season premiere of Sue Thomas F.B. Eye, the conclusion of Canada's most watched program Canadian Idol; the season premiere of Canada's longest serving current affairs program W-FIVE, a sneak preview of CTV's newest prime time drama Instant Star; the Alexandre Trudeau documentary special The Fence, and of course original movie The Life," it concludes.
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