Toronto, ON (November 22, 2006) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is now streaming on The CTV Broadband Network. In a landmark deal with Warner Bros. International Television, CTV announced today it has acquired the Canadian broadband rights for not only Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but The O.C. and Smith as well. The agreement represents the first multi-program broadband deal between any Canadian broadcaster and a major U.S studio.
As a result, ad-supported full-length episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The O.C. will stream on-demand at The CTV Broadband Network (at CTV.ca) immediately following their broadcast premieres on CTV. Broadband scheduling details for the abbreviated seven-episode season of Smith will be announced soon. Streaming of these U.S. Network dramas will be geo-gated and available exclusively to Canadians coast to coast who have broadband access through a Canadian-based internet service provider.
CTV also announced today that in an effort to reach new audiences and to fully serve existing fan bases, all previously-aired episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The O.C. (Season 4) are now available on The CTV Broadband Network. Finally ï¿½Catch-Up TVï¿½ is here and on-demand.
Today’s announcement contributes to CTV’s strategy of delivering hit programming across multiple platforms, energizing existing fan bases and reaching out to new audiences, said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. We’re honoured to partner with Warner Bros. on this ground-breaking initiative.
The pilot run of the first two episodes of The O.C. was a huge success on The CTV Broadband Network, said Kris Faibish, CTV Vice President of Digital Media. The addition of Smith, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The O.C. to our roster of top Canadian shows will go a long way in reaching out to our viewers across the country, allowing them to watch these terrific shows on their own terms.
It is clearly advantageous to explore digital opportunities with our broadcast partners for our series,ï¿½ said Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television. ï¿½Maximizing exposure for our shows brings more consumer awareness, builds audiences and strengthens core fan bases.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip debuted in September to critical acclaim and was simply television’s single-most talked about NEW program of the season. In Canada, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip regularly attracts an audience of over a million viewers out of simulcast and consistently wins the Sundays at 10 p.m. timeslot for CTV. Canadians also made Smith a Top 20 program when it debuted for CTV. For three straight weeks, it won its timeslot and was en route to potential breakout hit status before it was shelved by its US broadcaster. Canadians will now have the opportunity to see the remaining four, action-packed episodes that have not previously aired. The O.C. continues to generate buzz, launching CTV’s can’t-miss, Thursday night, primetime lineup.
Today’s announcement follows CTVï¿½s groundbreaking initiative with Warner Bros. International Television earlier this month that saw CTV deliver the Season 4 premiere of The O.C. on broadband, followed by Episode 2. It was the first U.S. Network drama ever streamed in Canada and the first time a U.S. Network series premiered on broadband in advance of its television premiere. In less than 10 days, more than 120,000 streams of the episodes were ordered up by Canadians from coast to coast. Building on the pre-release broadband strategy for selected CTV original programming that began with Instant Star in the summer, the premiere episode of Season 6 of Degrassi: The Next Generation began previewing on The CTV Broadband Network yesterday in advance of its television debut next Tuesday, Nov. 28.
Adding Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The O.C. and Smith to its library of broadband titles represents CTVï¿½s commitment to building a dynamic online roster of audience favourites as CTV continues its rollout of Canada’s industry-leading broadband service. These three U.S. Network dramas join more than 100 hours of top Canadian programs also available on demand, including Corner Gas, eTalk, Degrassi, Instant Star, Whistler, W-Five and The CTV National News.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is the latest creation from writer/producer Aaron Sorkin, who tackles the rarely seen world of network television, along with acclaimed director/producer Thomas Schlamme and a phenomenal ensemble cast. When the beleaguered executive producer of a long-running late-night sketch-comedy series interrupts the live broadcast and has a Network moment on the air, the industry, the media and the viewers are galvanized. Into this melee steps shrewd and self-confident network president Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet), who squares off against the chairman (Steven Weber) and rehires a brilliant, unpredictable writer/producer team (Matthew Perry/Bradley Whitford) which had left the show years ago under a cloud of controversyï¿½to bring it back from the brink. This daring drama literally goes behind the scenes to expose the politics, personalities and pandemonium of producing a flagship series on a major television network. D.L. Hughley, Sarah Paulson, Timothy Busfield and Nate Corddry (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) also star in the series created by Sorkin. Schlamme and Sorkin serve as executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.
Smith, which stars Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Simon Baker, Amy Smart, Jonny Lee Miller, Franky G, Chris Bauer and Shohreh Aghdashloo, is a serialized drama that delves into the world of high-stakes robberies, where Bobby Stevens (Liotta) finds himself leading a double life as both the leader of a band of thieves who pull off intricate and ingenious jobs and also as a typical nine-to-five, suburban family man. Emmy Award winner John Wells, Chris Chulack, Brooke Kennedy and R. Scott Gemmill are executive producers for John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
CTV launched The CTV Broadband Network June 5, 2006, Canada’s first multi-channel, on-demand broadband service featuring four distinct broadband channels. Utilizing an advertiser-supported revenue model, the Network features a free, premium broadband video player that harnesses the latest in technology to deliver full length CTV programming in all forms from all genres at broadband speeds and enhanced resolution.