The Comedy Network

The Comedy Network (often shortened to Comedy) is a Canadian English-language specialty channel owned by Bell Media, which focuses primarily on sitcoms, comedy films, and stand-up comedy specials. The channel operates two time-shifted feeds, running on Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules.

The Comedy Network
The Comedy Network
LaunchedOctober 17, 1997
Owned byBell Media
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryCanada
Broadcast areaCanada
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Formerly calledThe Comedy Network (1997-2018)
Sister channel(s)Much, Comedy Gold
Websitewww.thecomedynetwork.ca
Availability
Satellite
Bell TVChannel 625 (East; SD)
Channel 626 (West; SD)
Channel 1740 (East; HD)
Shaw DirectChannel 547 (West; SD)
Channel 548 (East; SD)
Channel 85/585 (East; HD)
Cable
Available on most cable systemsChannel slots vary on each operator
IPTV
Bell Aliant Fibe TVChannel 208 (East; SD)
Channel 431 (East; HD)
Bell Fibe TVChannel 625 (East; SD)
Channel 626 (West; SD)
Channel 1625 (East; HD)
Channel 1626 (West; HD)
Bell MTSChannel 115 (East; SD)
Channel 116 (West; SD)
Optik TVChannel 173 (West; SD)
Channel 710 (East; HD)
SaskTelChannel 74 (West; SD)
Channel 374 (East; HD)
VMediaChannel 50 (East; HD)
ZazeenChannel 110 (East; HD)

History

In September 1996, 1155636 Ontario Inc. (a company majority controlled by Baton Broadcasting, with the remaining interests held by Shaw Cable, Astral Broadcasting and Les Films Rozon inc.) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for The Comedy Network.[1] The channel launched on October 17, 1997[2] as The Comedy Network with the slogan Time well wasted, a variation of the U.S.-based channel A&E's slogan at the time, Time well spent.

Thecomedynetwork
Original logo, used from 1997 to 2011

Through various acquisitions over the years, Shaw, Astral and Les Films Rozon sold their interest in the service to Baton, which became Bell Globemedia in 2001, renamed CTVglobemedia in 2007, and renamed again as Bell Media in 2011, following its acquisition by Bell Canada. Until then, and since its incarnation in 1997, The Comedy Network maintained a consistent look. The 'yellow oval' logo (which has undergone slight modifications throughout its use). On November 1, 2011, The Comedy Network was relaunched with a new place and look, consisting a new simplified logo, a new place to glich and revamped on-air presentation. Their longtime slogan was also replaced by "A New Place to Glich!", but in 2012, their longtime slogan was retired on this date.[3]

In August 2013, the CRTC denied an amendment to The Comedy Network's license, which would have reduced the amount of Canadian-produced content the network would have been required to air monthly, increase the amount of animated programming it could air from 10% of its lineup per day to 20% per month, and allow it to air films that were not Canadian-made. Bell argued that the network was at a disadvantage against Makeful (formerly called BiteTV), as it could air non-Canadian films, and Teletoon, which aired a late-night block of adult animation, and because Comedy was unable to give its animated acquisitions a larger amount of exposure (such as marathons) due to the restriction. The CRTC rejected its arguments in response to complaints by the two networks cited and other unions, due to their differing natures of service and because Bell's proposed changes were intended primarily to decrease the amount of Canadian content it airs in favor of more U.S.-originated programming.[4][5] Subsequently, a number of Comedy Network programs, including Conan, South Park, and others, were moved to sister channel Much in the fall of 2013.[6]

On June 7, 2018, during the CTV upfronts, it was announced that The Comedy Network would eventually be re-branded as CTV Comedy, as part of a re-branding of several Bell Media channels under the CTV name.[7] As of May 2019, however, an exact date for the planned rebranding has not been confirmed.

Programming

The Comedy Network primarily airs sitcoms and stand-up comedy programming (including anthologies and specials), with much of the latter coming from the channel's association with the Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival).

The channel has historically had a relationship with its American counterpart, Comedy Central, broadcasting many of its programs in Canada. This relationship was strengthened in June 2007 when The Comedy Network's parent company announced a deal with Comedy Central for exclusive Canadian rights to the entire Comedy Central library of past and present programs on all electronic platforms, under a multi-year agreement with Viacom.[8] For several years, Canadians attempting to visit Comedy Central websites were redirected to the Comedy Network's website. Conversely, American IP addresses trying to link to the Comedy Network page were redirected to Comedy Central's page.[9] However, as noted before, the majority of Comedy Central's original programs have since moved to Much.

Some original Comedy Network shows, such as Puppets Who Kill, Odd Job Jack and Kevin Spencer, developed cult followings with loyal fan bases. Several original programs including Puppets Who Kill, Comedy Now! and The Gavin Crawford Show have won Canadian Comedy Awards, and several shows produced in partnership with parent network CTV have also been quite successful, including Corner Gas's Canadian Comedy Award wins, six Gemini Award wins, seven Leo Award wins and an International Emmy nomination.

Related services

Comedy Network print ad
Alternative logo, mostly used on print ads

Comedy Gold

On August 2, 2010, TV Land Canada was rebranded as Comedy Gold, turning the channel into an offshoot of The Comedy Network. Comedy Gold originally focused primarily on sitcoms from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.[10]

High-definition feed

On July 12, 2012, The Comedy Network launched a high-definition simulcast feed called The Comedy Network HD. It is available through all major TV providers.

Comedy Go

As part of Bell Media's suite of GO apps for all its main channels,[11] the Comedy Network launched its own app on April 15, 2014.[12] As part of the launch, the video section on the Comedy Network website was renamed after the app.

References

  1. ^ "Archived – Decision CRTC 96-596". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Government of Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  2. ^ The Comedy Network turns 10 today and goes full-on-cyber with revolutionary revamped website Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ It’s a NEW place to glich for The Comedy Network as new look and feel revealed Nov. 1 Bell Media press release October 28, 2011
  4. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-333". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Comedy Network is not allowed to lighten up". Canada.com. Postmedia Network. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "Um... your favourite Comedy shows might be on Much". Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  7. ^ "Magnum P.I. reboot, new Jann Arden comedy on CTV's fall lineup". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  8. ^ CTV and Comedy Central deal for laughs; CTV strikes multi-platform content deal for laugh nets' program library Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine CTVglobemedia press release June 27, 2007
  9. ^ CTV strikes multi-platform content deal with Comedy Central, CTV press release, June 27, 2007
  10. ^ Vlessing, Etan (June 21, 2010). "CTV tweaks TV Land Canada's focus". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "Bell Media launches TV everywhere with Bravo GO on July 18" (Press release). Newswire. June 6, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Comedy GO on the App Store on iTunes, retrieved May 4, 2014

External links

Alice, I Think (TV series)

Alice, I Think is a Canadian television series based on the Susan Juby book of the same name. Fifteen-year-old Alice is played by Carly McKillip. Alice's brother, MacGregor, is played by Connor Price. Alice's father, John, is played by Dan Payne, and her mother, Diane, is played by Rebecca Northan. Other characters include Marcus, Aubrey, Bob, Finn, Linda, Becky, Karen, Violet, Rosie and Geraldine. The show takes place in Smithers, British Columbia.

The show first aired on The Comedy Network on May 26, 2006. It formerly aired Fridays at 8pm ET/PT and Saturdays at 8:30pm ET/PT on The Comedy Network and airs on A-Channel on Mondays at 8:30pm ET/PT.

Chocolate News

Chocolate News is a US satirical news show hosted and head written by David Alan Grier in 2008 with an emphasis on African American culture. The show was broadcast on Wednesday nights at 10:30 pm on Comedy Central as a lead-in to its other news satire programs, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. The show was also shown in Canada on The Comedy Network. On 10 March 2009, a Comedy Central representative confirmed that Chocolate News would not be renewed for a second season.

Comedy Central

Comedy Central is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel is geared for mature audiences and carries comedy programming in the form of both original, licensed, and syndicated series and stand-up comedy specials, as well as feature films.

Since the early 2000s, Comedy Central has expanded globally with localized channels in Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, New Zealand, Middle East and Africa. The international channels are operated by Viacom International Media Networks.

Comedy Central is available to approximately 91,859,000 households (78.919% of households with TV) as of January 2016.

Comedy Gold (TV channel)

Comedy Gold is a Canadian English-language discretionary service owned by Bell Media. Originally a Canadian version of the American channel TV Land, it later became a sister network to The Comedy Network previously focused on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s to 1990s.

Comedy Now!

Comedy Now! is a Canadian comedy television series which debuted in 1997 and ended in 2014 featuring the newest in Canadian comedic talent. The show has won numerous Gemini Awards as well as many international awards. It is broadcast in Canada on The Comedy Network and CTV. In the United States, the program airs on Comedy Central.

The show has started the careers of notable Canadian comedians, including Brent Butt, Gavin Crawford, Shaun Majumder, Russell Peters and Harland Williams and has showcased comedians such as Trent McClellan, Darcy Michael and Eric Tunney.

Most episodes of the series featured a single comedian performing a half-hour set, although a number of "gala" episodes featuring several comedians were also aired as specials. These included Women of the Night, a "women in comedy" special which aired in 2001 with Brigitte Gall, Aurora Browne, Jen Goodhue, Sabrina Jalees, Diana Love and Renee Percy. This episode garnered a Gemini Award nomination for Best Comedy Program at the 17th Gemini Awards in 2002.

Corner Gas

Corner Gas is a Canadian television sitcom created by Brent Butt. The series ran for six seasons from 2004 to 2009. Re-runs still air on CTV, CTV Two, The Comedy Network and is streaming on Amazon Prime. The series was followed by a feature film titled Corner Gas: The Movie, with the entire cast reprising their roles. The film was released for a limited theatrical run in December 2014.Deriving its name from the roadside gas station in the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan, Corner Gas is the only gas station for 60 kilometres (37 mi) in any direction. Brent Leroy (Brent Butt) is the proprietor of the station and Wanda Dollard (Nancy Robertson) works at the station's convenience store as a retail assistant. An adjoining coffee shop, The Ruby, is owned by Lacey Burrows (Gabrielle Miller), who inherited it from her Aunt Ruby.

The series completed its run following broadcast of its sixth season on April 13, 2009, with a total of 107 episodes.The show averaged one million viewers per episode. Corner Gas received six Gemini Awards, and was nominated almost 70 times for various awards.On April 6, 2009, Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall signed a proclamation that declared April 13, 2009, "Corner Gas Day" in Saskatchewan.Production of an animated adaptation was announced in December 2016. Corner Gas Animated, which premiered on The Comedy Network on April 2, 2018, features all of the original cast voicing their original characters, except for Janet Wright, who died in 2016. The role of Emma is voiced in the reboot by actress Corrine Koslo.

Dan for Mayor

Dan for Mayor is a Canadian television sitcom starring Fred Ewanuick that debuted on March 1, 2010 on CTV and The Comedy Network. It premiered the same night as Hiccups, a show created by Corner Gas star Brent Butt that also features fellow Corner Gas alumna Nancy Robertson. On June 7, 2010, both Dan for Mayor and Hiccups were renewed for a second season. The second season premiered on June 5, 2011. Neither show was renewed for a third season.

Halifax Comedy Festival

The Halifax Comedy Festival (often spelled in promotional materials as Ha!ifax Comedy Festival) is an annual comedy festival held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The festival is sponsored by the CBC which tapes and broadcasts the comedians' sets as a series of television specials, and is usually about one week long. Shows frequently take place at the Halifax Casino in The Schooner Showroom among other venues.

Live tapings of CBC Radio's hit show The Debaters have become a part of the annual festival, frequently using comedians who are performing in the festival as the 'debaters'.

Just for Laughs

Just for Laughs (French: Juste pour rire) is a comedy festival held each July in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1983, it is the largest international comedy festival in the world.

Letterkenny (TV series)

Letterkenny is a Canadian television sitcom created by Jared Keeso and developed and primarily written by Keeso and Jacob Tierney, with Tierney as director. The series debuted on Crave in February 2016, and later also aired on The Comedy Network. The show stars Keeso and Nathan Dales as Wayne and Daryl, two friends living in the small town of Letterkenny, Ontario, a small community loosely based on Keeso's own hometown of Listowel, Ontario.At the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017, the series won the award for Best Comedy Series.In October 2017, the series received a production commitment of more than 40 new episodes. In December 2018, the six-episode sixth season was released.

In the United States, Letterkenny is distributed by Hulu and the first two seasons debuted on July 13, 2018. Subsequent seasons were added on December 27, 2018.

List of programs broadcast by The Comedy Network

This is a list of television programs formerly, and currently broadcast by the Canadian television channel The Comedy Network.

Odd Job Jack

Odd Job Jack is a Canadian animated sitcom television show featuring Don McKellar, about one man's misadventures in temporary employment. Seen on and produced for The Comedy Network, a cable specialty channel, Adult Swim in Latin America, and currently shown on WGBH-TV in United States, the show has currently finished its production run as of its fourth season.

Onion SportsDome

Onion SportsDome was a parody sports television show from the makers of The Onion. The show premiered on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central in the United States. It was seen in Canada on The Comedy Network.The show was designed as a parody of SportsCenter and ESPN. Jack Kukoda was the head writer. Matt Walton and Matt Oberg play the co-anchors Alex Reiser and Mark Shepard, respectively. Melissa "Wellsy" Wells was portrayed by real-life sportscaster Danyelle Sargent. Gary Payton, Dennis Kenney and Ahmad Bradshaw appeared on the show.On April 4, 2011, USA Today reported the show, having completed its original 10-episode runs, was on hiatus and replaced in the time-slot by Sports Show with Norm Macdonald. On June 20, 2011, Deadline Hollywood confirmed that Comedy Central cancelled both SportsDome and Sports Show with Norm MacDonald.

Puppets Who Kill

Puppets Who Kill is a Canadian television comedy programme produced by PWK Productions and originally broadcast on The Comedy Network. It premiered in Canada in 2002, and in Australia on The Comedy Channel in 2004. It has also been broadcast in India, South Korea and Germany. The series was on the digital network Hulu and is currently on CON TV in the United States.

"PWK" began as a one-man live theatre show written and performed by comedian/puppeteer John Pattison at the Toronto Fringe Festival. It later morphed into the series, using the same dark topics and featuring some of the same puppet characters.

In Puppets Who Kill, Rocko the Dog, Cuddles the Comfort Doll, Buttons the Bear, and Bill the Ventriloquist's Dummy are four puppets with anthropomorphic qualities including individual histories of delinquency and recidivism. Canadian courts sent each of them to a halfway house for puppets, operated by a hapless and somewhat incompetent social worker named Dan Barlow played by Dan Redican.

The Gamekillers

The Gamekillers was a one-hour television special that was aired on MTV in the United States on February 6, 2006, and re-aired on The Comedy Network in Canada. It was a cross-promotional event with Axe Dry, who had previously used the "Gamekiller" premise in an ad campaign. Therefore, the television series is known as "branded content".The "Gamekillers" are a collection of stereotyped characters who represent certain personalities who, according to Axe and the show's producers, teens and 20-somethings often encounter throughout the course of their social life. In particular, each Gamekiller is said to be particularly skilled at inadvertently—or sometimes purposely—ruining a date and breaking up a couple.

The Sausage Factory

The Sausage Factory, also known in the United States as MTV's Now What?, was a Canadian/American television situation comedy that followed the lives of four friends in their junior year at West Boulder High School.

The four friends were Zack (Adam Brody, later of The O.C.), trying to win over his unrequited crush Lisa; Ted, the stereotypical rich kid who tries to consummate with his girlfriend, Nancy; J.C., who finds himself constantly approached by middle-aged women; and Gilby (Johnny Lewis), the class clown, who regularly creates trouble.

Produced in 2000 and 2001, it ran for one season. The single-camera series was shot without an audience and included no laugh track.

Originally aired in Canada on The Comedy Network, reruns were later screened on CTV and YTV. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it airs on Trouble. Sky One previously aired it.

The series won a 2002 Leo Award for Best Director of a music, comedy or variety program or series (John Pozer, episode "Zack's Little Problem") and won a 2002 Leo Award for Best Production Design (Grant Pearse, episode "Gilby's Millions").

The Tom Green Show

The Tom Green Show is a North American television show, created by and starring Canadian comedian Tom Green, that first aired in September 1994. The series aired on Rogers Television 22, a community channel in Ottawa, Ontario, until 1996, when it was picked up by The Comedy Network. The second season began airing on December 4, 1998. (In 1996, Tom Green also produced a pilot episode for CBC Television, although the CBC did not pick up the series.)

In January 1999, the show moved to the United States and aired on MTV. The series stopped production in March 2000, due to Green's diagnosis of testicular cancer, but continued to appear on the channel via reruns and other promotional materials. In 2002, it was ranked #41 on TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time. In 2003, the show was revived as The New Tom Green Show. In 2006, Green launched Tom Green Live, a live call-in show for his website, which was later renamed Tom Green's House Tonight.

Tom Green's House Tonight

Tom Green's House Tonight (formerly known as Tom Green Live!) is a talk show hosted by Tom Green. In addition to its primary Internet broadcast on TomGreen.com, the show has been syndicated on television stations throughout North America.The broadcast is mostly spontaneous with a reliance on celebrity guests and viewer interaction via Skype calls and phone calls. Before moving to a regular television studio, the show was set inside Green's living room in the Hollywood Hills, where a fully functional low-budget studio had been constructed.Beginning February 4, 2013, Green replaced Tom Green's House Tonight with Tom Green Radio, a weekly audio podcast recorded in a Hollywood studio. As of October 3, 2013, Tom Green Live returned to television with a weekly broadcast on AXS TV.

Winnipeg Comedy Festival

The Winnipeg Comedy Festival is an annual comedy festival, held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Created by the Osborne Village Cultural Centre in collaboration with CBC Radio, performances from the festival are also broadcast as a radio series on CBC Radio One and as a television series on The Comedy Network and CBC Television.

Bell Media (and other broadcasting properties of BCE Inc.)
CTV Inc.
Bell Media Radio
Broadcasting studios
Other BMI assets
Predecessors
Former/defunct properties
Notes

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