TV Upfronts 2010: Global Releases Primetime Fall Schedule

TORONTO – The biggest news to come out of Tuesday’s Canwest Global upfront presentation was the same news that CBS revealed a few weeks earlier… Survivor is moving back to Wednesdays.

Aside from that, executive vice-president of content Barbara Williams revealed that the network has purchased five U.S. imports to add to its sked. These include the highly-anticipated remake of Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) and the new NBC comedy Outsourced which will fill the coveted post-Office slot.

There was definitely a stark difference in the quality of programs this year than in years past, as the other pick-ups all have staying potential. Then again, what do I know? I predicted the Melrose Place spin-off would be the can’t-miss show of the year last season.

While Hawaii Five-0 has gotten most of the post-U.S. screening buzz, the trailers for Love Bites, Lonestar and Outsourced definitely had the most potential.

Love Bites will air on Global in simulcast with NBC on Thursdays at 10 p.m., and is the brainchild of Cindy Chupack (who created Sex & The City). The show is described as an “hour-long anthology series featuring three loosely connected stories of love, sex, marriage and dating.” I think this is extremely good scheduling too, as it will probably pick up viewers clamoring for more ‘chick flick’ kind of programming after CTV & ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy already has made female viewers go through a couple of Kleenex boxes. The show also features a solid cast including Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) and Greg Grunberg (Heroes). Oh, and did I mention that as we all expected, it didn’t take Jennifer Love Hewitt too long to land on her feet post-Ghost Whisperer as she also guest stars in this one.

I haven’t heard much about FOX’s Lonestar, but it definitely seems like it could have legs north of the border. The show is about a con artist who is living two completely separate lives with dividing loyalties to his real father John (played by David Keith) and his desire to impress his father-in-law Clint (played by Jon Voight). I hate to describe it as this, but I guess the easiest way to get the point across is that it reminded me of Sawyer’s backstory (yes, and here you thought the Lost references were done). Global will air this one in simulcast on Mondays at 9 PM.

The show that Global has chosen to run after The Office is what I feel is its strongest pick-up. Outsourced is a comedy series that revolves around the fictional Mid America Novelties company that sells whoopee cushions and decides to outsource its call centre to India. The company’s manager Todd (Ben Rappaport) decides to go to the new location to teach his new employees all things American. Hilarity ensues. The show is an adaptation of the feature film of the same name and is can’t-miss.

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