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December 2
2007


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Fri, November 30, 2007
TSN's Cup runneth over

With rights to Grey Cup and NFL Sunday Night Football, what's a network to do?


By BILL HARRIS

With the Grey Cup moving from CBC to TSN next season, what will TSN do with its NFL Sunday Night Football game?

Not that it's much of a ratings debate in Canada. This year's Grey Cup between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on CBC attracted 3.337 million viewers, while on the same night the surprisingly competitive NFL Sunday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles drew 299,000 viewers on TSN.

Still, that's 299,000 people TSN doesn't necessarily want to annoy, since they tend to tune in every Sunday night, as opposed to the once-a-year primetime bonanza of the Grey Cup.

When asked about the potential conflict over this embarrassment of riches, a TSN spokesperson said the start time for the 2008 Grey Cup has not yet been determined, so nobody is sure yet if there's going to be an overlap to worry about.

Could that be an indication that the CFL, in conjunction with TSN, is considering an earlier start time for the Grey Cup, which might create an attractive back-to-back TV situation? This year's Grey Cup began at about 6:30 p.m., while NFL Sunday Night Football starts at about 8:15 p.m.

Keep in mind, though, that even if TSN had to ditch Sunday Night Football for a week, Canadian NFL fans still could watch the game on NBC ... not that TSN would want that!

Anyway, it's just one of many issues that will have to be addressed in the coming year, as the CTV-TSN conglomerate becomes the television nerve centre for all things football in this country.

DOMINIC DIVISION

A made-for-TV movie based on the character of Dominic Da Vinci -- formerly the central character in Da Vinci's Inquest and Da Vinci's City Hall -- is complete and in the can, but it has not been given an air date yet by the CBC. It's one of many subjects on which Da Vinci creator Chris Haddock and the public broadcaster do not see eye-to-eye, as was evidenced in an extended article that appeared in Sun Media outlets earlier this week.

Anyway, Haddock said he finished the made-for-TV movie, which is titled The Quality of Life and stars Nicholas Campbell and Mary Walsh, in time for the fall season.

"They (the CBC) don't like what it's about," Haddock said.

CBC executive director of network programming Kirstine Layfield disagreed with Haddock's assessment.

"That's not it at all," Layfield said. "It has to do with budget."

The Quality of Life sees Campbell returning as Vancouver mayor Da Vinci, whose hosting duties at a big-city mayors' conference get interrupted by a murder investigation and possible cover-up. Some of the mayors are key witnesses, and maybe even suspects, when a domestic servant is found dead following a live sex show organized by a media magnate, played by Michael Murphy, and his wife, played by Walsh.

INNER-TUBING

Reservation Soldiers, a CTV documentary that airs tomorrow night, examines the manner in which the Canadian military targets Aboriginal youth for recruitment ... A new series called Cock'd Gunns debuts tomorrow night on Showcase and IFC. It's billed as a rockumentary about a horrible group of musicians who could become the biggest band in the world if it weren't for a total lack of talent. Hey, that didn't stop the Spice Girls ... Dancing With The Stars wrapped up its fifth season on Tuesday night by attracting 2.422 million viewers to CTV. Race car driver Helio Castroneves won. Spice Girl Mel B wuz robbed! ... The Victoria's Secret models are everywhere these days. Fresh off their appearance on the E!/CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother earlier this week, they'll be back for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show next Tuesday, also on E! and CBS. And if the likes of Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova and Selita Ebanks aren't enough for you, the annual fashion event will feature the afore-mentioned Spice Girls in their first television appearance together since reuniting. You know, on second thought, maybe that doesn't sweeten the deal.
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