Canadian Upfronts: Everything Advertisers Need to Know

As another Upfronts season comes to an end, media buyers are left to sort through the new, the old, and the non-renewed. By keeping an eye on which shows continue to captivate Canadians, while also paying close attention to rookie up-and-comer programs, advertisers can start planning ahead on where to place their spots, be it a TV commercial or infomercial, for maximum impact.

In case you missed it, we've rounded up key pieces of Upfront news that advertisers, media buyers and, direct marketing professionals should stay tuned into for Fall 2017:


- City is adding 12 new programs to their roster, including two sci-fi focused shows, Ghosted and The Orville. Crime dramas are also popular this upcoming season, with City original Bad Blood and The Blacklist joining the schedule

- Dancing with the Stars is moving to City this fall, along with a live-musical take on Rent in 2018, both of which will undoubtedly bring major star-power to the screen.

- Returning favourites will include The Bachelor franchise, Black-ish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, Modern Family, Hockey Night in Canada, and Hell's Kitchen.


- CTV came in as Canada's Most-Watched Network for the 16th year in a row. The Amazing Race Canada reigns as Canada's most viewed series for its fourth consecutive year, with MasterChef Canada close behind.

- CTV is making a major move towards more sports programming, gaining multi-year rights to NFL's slate of Thursday Night Football games, which will air on TSN and CTV Two for the first time. 

- Riding on the momentum of über-successful heartfelt drama This is Us (which will unsurprisingly be renewed), CTV will premiere five new dramas and one dramedy, including: The Good Doctor, Marvel's Inhumans, For the People and an untitled Grey's Anatomy spinoff.


- Global is following in CTV's footsteps, bringing six new dramas onto their roster this fall. However, these seem to be leaning more toward crime and military genres, and less toward heartfelt stories. They include: S.W.A.T, SEAL Team, The Brave, Wisdom of the Crowd and Law & Order True Crime.

- Crowd favourite Will & Grace is coming to Global, along with comedies 9JKL and season 2 of Great News.

- Survivor is returning for its 35th season, along with fan favourites Bull and Kevin Can Wait.

While the return of several favourites is unsurprising, it seems each network is aiming to build off the momentum of a specific genre, whether it be crime, feel-good dramas, or sports. With so many new programs joining this fall, brands can test new television advertising techniques with promising new shows while benefitting from the tried and true media buying campaigns that have long been bringing in big returns.

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