Corus to air NBC streamer's original shows, including 'Saved by the Bell' reboot - InfoNews

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Corus to air NBC streamer's original shows, including 'Saved by the Bell' reboot

The Corus logo at Corus Quay in Toronto is photographed on Friday, June 22, 2018. Corus Entertainment will be the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of original programming on NBCUniversal's streaming platform Peacock.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
June 23, 2020 - 2:34 PM

TORONTO - Corus Entertainment will soon be able to fill airtime with original shows from NBCUniversal's streaming service after reshuffling its programming to make up for pandemic-related production delays.

The company announced Tuesday that it will be the Canadian broadcaster of Peacock's star-studded original slate.

The fall/winter schedule includes some new series that were set to debut this spring, but were held back as COVID-19 shutdowns clogged up the TV production pipeline, a Corus executive says.

"This was a challenging year to buy programming," Troy Reeb, executive vice-president of broadcast networks, said about the 2020-2021 lineup.

"The industry has had fantastic audiences. But at the same time, productions have been curtailed or shut down in many cases."

Reeb said viewers will have no shortage of content to watch while cooped up at home including shows from Corus' specialty channels and U.S. suppliers.

The deal grants Corus the exclusive Canadian rights to broadcast Peacock Originals across its networks and streaming platforms.

The slate includes revivals of two popular sitcoms from the 1980s and 90s, "Punky Brewster" and "Saved by the Bell."

New series include "Girls5eva" from Tina Fey and "Rutherford Falls," a comedy set in a New York town that borders an Indigenous reserve, created by Sierra Teller Ornelas alongside "The Office" alumni Ed Helms and Mike Schur.

Corus said it will announced further details about its Peacock programming in coming months.

Until then, Global's fall prime-time lineup includes debuts of previously announced series such as "Departure," a Canada/U.K. co-production starring Emmy winner Archie Panjabi and Canadian Oscar winner Christopher Plummer.

Also set to premiere are U.S.-produced series "neXt," a sci-fi drama featuring "Mad Men" actor John Slattery, and a remake of the "The Equalizer" starring Queen Latifah.

Returning fall shows include Global's "Private Eyes," alongside "New Amsterdam," "Survivor" and "Evil."

Global's 2021 schedule includes the premiere of "Family Law," an original legal drama starring Jewel Staite and Victor Garber, and the sophomore season of "Nurses."

Among the series headed for Corus' specialty channels are "Rick and Morty" on Adult Swim, "The Curse of Oak Island" on History and "Batwoman" on Showcase.

Reeb said the broadcaster's reality TV slate is up in the air as producers wait to see whether the novel coronavirus resurges in coming months.

He said "Big Brother Canada," whose last season was cut short when the outbreak hit in March, remains a priority program for Global.

"Top Chef Canada" will be back, he said, while "Iron Chef Canada" has been put in the "maybe pile."

While the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the TV industry remain to be seen, Reeb said he's optimistic that creators will find new ways to entertain viewers, and perhaps provide an escape from the troubled state of the world.

"I think it has made people rekindle their love for television, maybe a forced relationship, in some cases," Reeb said.

"But it allowed ... Canadians to discover new shows that they may not have seen otherwise. And I think, long-term, us and other broadcasters will benefit from that."

Every year around spring broadcasters typically present their programming in a splashy presentation called an "upfront" for advertisers and members of the media. This year's presentations have been online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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