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TORONTO (April 29, 2014) – CTV announced today the launch of CTV EXTEND, a new digital hub located at CTV.ca that’s free to consumers and consists entirely of exclusive original and acquired digital content. A first in Canada for a private Canadian broadcaster, the ad-supported hub features a robust slate of digital content, including newly commissioned digital programs, award-winning acquisitions, series extensions of hit CTV shows, and more – extending the CTV brand into a new digital space.
Featuring more than 10 series and 120 episodes, CTV EXTEND is available at CTV.ca, with series also on demand on CTV GO. Featured programming includes the eight-episode original series BACKPACKERS from Smokebomb Entertainment, and the 13-episode original series SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH from iThentic, both commissioned exclusively for CTV EXTEND. Acquired content now available includes ARROW: BLOOD RUSH, spun-off from CTV hit ARROW; WOLFPACK OF RESEDA; from Fox Digital Studios; as well as CTV’s slate of original spin-off series, including SAVING HOPE: LAST CALL, MOTIVE: DARK CORNER and THE LISTENER: DOUBLE DATE WITH DEATH.
CTV.ca currently ranks as the #1 network destination for online video streams in Canada, and with increased viewer interest in new and exclusive digital content, CTV EXTEND will premiere even more content later this year. On deck for CTV EXTEND is JOKE OR CHOKE, a pilot ordered exclusively for CTV EXTEND from Insight Productions and Executive Producer Howie Mandel, as well as Season 2 of the popular EMMY® Award-winning series GUIDESTONES from iThentic and 3’oclock.tv.
“With CTV EXTEND, we can deliver exclusive digital content that extends CTV series in unique ways, while also offering compelling newly commissioned content, all in a branded environment that is focussed on delivering incremental value to our viewers and advertisers alike,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks.
“Fabulous quality content is at the core of the value proposition for advertisers on CTV’s digital assets,” said Nancy McConnell, Vice-President, Digital Sales, Bell Media. “CTV EXTEND offers innovative, exclusive series, as well as a great destination for branded content and advertiser integrations.”
Clockwise: Dillon Casey and Noah Reid star in BACKPACKERS; Dan Beirne and Mark Little star in SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH; Emily Bett Rickards stars in ARROW: BLOOD RUSH
**Media Note** Photography for CTV EXTEND series are available online at BellMediaPR.ca
CTV EXTEND originals include:
Now available on CTV EXTEND is the CTV original digital series BACKPACKERS from Smokebomb Entertainment. In an attempt to get over a serious case of cold feet, BACKPACKERS finds recently engaged Ryan (Noah Reid, TITANIC) and Beth (Meghan Heffern, ALMOST HEROES) embarking on separate European adventures leading up to their wedding. While travelling they are free to act single, adopting the mantra “what happens in Europe, stays in Europe.” But hours into Ryan’s adventure with his party animal and womanizing best friend Brandon (Dillon Casey, REMEDY), he realizes he’s made a huge mistake and sets off in search of Beth. The only problem is he has no idea where she could be as they never exchanged itineraries. This marks the start of a wild adventure as they search for Beth, try to avoid an annoying Aussie, dodge a homicidal maniac, and fit in a little action along the way. The eight, 11-minute episodes were filmed on location in Prague, Rome, the Italian Riviera, and Paris.
BACKPACKERS is produced by Smokebomb Entertainment, Shaftesbury's digital media arm, in association with Bell Media and CW Seed, The CW's digital studio. Executive produced by Maggie Murphy, Christina Jennings, and Scott Garvie, the series was created by Jay Bennett, Daniel Dales, and Jarrett Sherman. Produced by Jay Bennett, the series is directed by Josh Levy (Hayseed) and written by Adam M. Reid and Max B. Reid (BILLABLE HOURS). Teresa M. Ho also serves as a producer. BACKPACKERS is funded with the participation of the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Stream. For Bell Media, Gosia Kamela is Production Executive, Drama. Trish Williams is Director, Drama, Independent Production. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production.
SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH:
Co-created by comedian Mark Little (PICNICFACE) and Dan Beirne (The Trotsky), SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH is inspired by utterly fictional events: the story of two out-of-shape nobodies who accidentally become Earth’s heroes. From iThentic, the CTV EXTEND original digital series follows Ken (Little) and Philip (Beirne), roommates without direction until a case of mistaken identity throws them into the path of intergalactic supervillain Orson Ooze. After they successfully (and miraculously) defeat Ooze, the Galactic Ministry names Ken and Philip to the unpaid positions of SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH. In their new roles, Ken and Philip fight to foil Ooze’s nefarious schemes, and battle moon monsters, portal cats, and dark technologies that pit friend against friend, all while maintaining their day jobs and complicated love triangles – nothing a pair of best-friend heroes can’t handle. The 13, six-minute episodes are all available exclusively on CTV EXTEND starting today.
SPACE RIDERS: DIVISION EARTH is produced by iThentic, in association with Bell Media. Created, written by, and starring Mark Little and Dan Beirne, the series is directed by Jordan Canning and executive produced by Jonas Diamond and Catherine Tait with Lisa Baylin producing. SPACE RIDERS is produced with the participation of the Independent Production Fund and made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. For Bell Media, Bill Lundy is Production Executive, Comedy. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Independent Production, Comedy. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production.
JOKE OR CHOKE:
Upcoming original content includes JOKE OR CHOKE, a 30-minute pilot commissioned exclusively for CTV EXTEND from Insight Productions and Executive Producer Howie Mandel. Premiering later this year, JOKE OR CHOKE sees four of Canada’s funniest comedians go head to head in a standup elimination competition. The comics must write and perform brand new material based on topics chosen for them in an effort to impress the ever fickle judge Mark Forward (MR. D).
JOKE OR CHOKE is produced by Insight Production Company Ltd. and HDI Productions Inc. in association with Bell Media. Created by Craig Brown and starring Jonny Harris and Mark Forward, the show is Executive Produced by John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby, Howie Mandel, and Mike Marks. Shannon Farr is Supervising Producer and Craig Brown is Co-Producer. JOKE OR CHOKE is developed with the participation of the Bell Fund. For Bell Media, Bill Lundy is Production Executive, Comedy. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Independent Production, Comedy. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production.
Also exclusive to CTV EXTEND is the second season of acclaimed digital series GUIDESTONES, available later this year. Inspired by true events, the first season of GUIDESTONES garnered multiple accolades including the 2013 International Digital Emmy Award for Best Digital Program – Fiction, and is from award-winning director Jay Ferguson (Animals), iThentic, and 3’oclock.tv. The 34 episodes from the first season of GUIDESTONES are currently available and feature journalism students Sandy Rai (Supinder Wraich, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) and Trevor Shale (Dan Fox, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) who uncover a global conspiracy while investigating the unsolved murder of scientist Harold Glenndenning. The series takes viewers deep inside the mystery of The Georgia Guidestones, an enigmatic monument nestled in a farmer’s field in rural Georgia inscribed with directions for rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse.
GUIDESTONES Season 2 is produced by iThentic/3’oclock.tv in association with Bell Media, the Independent Production Fund (IPF), the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), and the Canada Media Fund (CMF). Produced by Lisa Baylin and Jay Ferguson. The series is directed by Jay Ferguson, and written by Jay Ferguson and Jeremy Diamond (ODD JOB JACK). Catherine Tait and Jonas Diamond serve as executive producers.
CTV EXTEND acquired content includes:
ARROW: BLOOD RUSH:
Available today is the ARROW spin-off ARROW: BLOOD RUSH. The six, one-minute episodes track Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) masterful computer expert, and street-savvy Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as they team up to protect the identity of Arrow (Amell).
WOLFPACK OF RESEDA:
CTV EXTEND also features the acclaimed acquired digital series WOLFPACK OF RESEDA, which follows Ben March (Tate Ellington, Remember Me), a man who hates his life. The torture of listening to motivational speeches from the slimy head salesman at work where he sells car insurance, to his depressing apartment, to the foul smells of his Animal Control officer roommate, and – most of all – the crappy car that shuttles him between the two. There seems to be no escape from his suburban despair until one night when he is bitten by a mysterious creature in the woods. Could he now be a werewolf? Suddenly, Ben has the instincts of an alpha dog. For the first time, he pushes aside the mundane to do what he really wants with his life. Forming his own “wolfpack,” Ben makes his lair in Reseda, and has the run of the Valley. But soon, the threat of the murderous beast within him begins to rear its ugly head. The eight, 10-minute episodes of WOLFPACK OF RESEDA are produced by Fox Digital Entertainment (FDE), a division of 20th Century Fox.
CTV’s roster of successful spin-off digital series, including CTV’s first interactive series, INTERFERENCE, as well as MOTIVE: THE DARK CORNER, SAVING HOPE: LAST CALL, SAVING HOPE: ASK GAVIN, THE LISTENER: DOUBLE DATE WITH DEATH, and THE LISTENER: THE SWITCH are also available on CTV EXTEND.
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at ctv.ca.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Source: comScore Video Metrix, Sept. 2013 – March 2014
Competitor set: CTV.ca sites, CBC.ca, GLOBALTV.com, and CITY sites
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For more information, please contact:
Christy Sullivan, CTV Networks, 416.384.3624 or firstname.lastname@example.org