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CTV Snaps Up Pirate Master

TORONTO, In its second straight deal with Mark Burnett Productions, CTV has snapped up Canadian broadcast rights to Pirate Master: The Adventure Begins, a swashbuckling new reality series set to debut this summer, it was announced today. The deal was initiated at NATPE’s Las Vegas market in January by CTV President of Programming, Susanne Boyce and comes on the heels of CTV’s acquisition of On The Lot, also from Mark Burnett Productions.

Pirate Master: The Adventure Begins is the latest addition to what is shaping up to be a treasure chest of blockbuster summer series on CTV, including On The Lot, Canadian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance? The high-stakes, high-seas adventure will also debut on CBS when the network wraps up Burnett’s Survivor: Fiji, the 14th edition of the series.

"Pirate Master promises to be jolly good summer fun. It’s complete escapism and will make for rollicking summer viewing," said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

"Pirate Master is a very compelling and unique show and I am very happy that it’s going to air on CTV in Canada," said Mark Burnett. "I can’t think of a better place for the next big franchise hit to air."

In Pirate Master: The Adventure Begins, 16 ordinary people living aboard a real pirate ship compete in an extraordinary Caribbean adventure in pursuit of hidden treasure – a bounty with a total value of one million dollars. Each week, one competitor is "set adrift" from the pirate ship that they have called home until only three remain in the hunt for the ultimate treasure of all.

Before that, the 16 contestants will compete to find hidden treasure while uncovering the secrets of a mysterious Caribbean island. Equipped with just a map and compass as their guide, the 16 pirates will embark on intense, physical expeditions as they use their wits to solve clues and riddles to find the treasure.

Casting for the series is currently underway and production will begin soon in the Caribbean. A host for the series will be announced at a later date.

Burnett and Roma Downey to wed

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actress Roma Downey and reality-show producer Mark Burnett are engaged, a publicist for the pair said Monday. Burnett proposed to Downey during a Thanksgiving trip to Mexico, publicist Jim Dowd said. Both are 46.

"They have never been happier," Dowd said. "They are enjoying this exciting time with their children and their families."

The couple, who started dating in 2004, plan to marry next year.

"I have found my angel," Burnett said in a statement.

Both have children from previous marriages. Burnett has two sons, ages 13 and nine, and Downey has a 10-year-old daughter.

Downey starred in the TV show "Touched by an Angel" from 1994 to 2003. Burnett is the producer of reality shows including "Survivor" and "The Apprentice.