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Rogers unveils CityNews Channel, fall lineup & debut of ‘Canada’s Got Talent’

Rogers Media announced Monday plans for a fall launch of CityNews Channel, a 24-hour local-news station that brings together numerous Toronto news brands, including those from Citytv, radio station 680 News, and Maclean’s magazine.

The announcement came alongside the unveiling of Citytv’s fall lineup and news that Canadian versions of the “Got Talent” and “Secret Millionaire” franchises will debut on the channel in 2012.

“We’re taking the number one news radio format in Canada, 680 News, and bringing it to television under the brand of CityNews Channel,” said Scott Moore, President, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.

“By incorporating our trailblazing and trusted news brands from CityNews, 680 News, and publishing – including Canada’s most trusted news magazine, Maclean’s –  CityNews Channel is poised to be the destination local news channel,” Moore said.

Jamie Haggarty, Executive Vice President of Television Operations for Rogers Media Television, added: “Our CityNews team has the strongest local news pedigree in Canada. CityNews Channel will take all news television to the next level combining our trusted news personalities with content from across all Rogers Media platforms.”  

CityNews Channel will be available to digital cable subscribers this October and will feature an enriched and interactive screen format. More details will be released closer to launch.

The newscast at 5pm will also return, Monday to Friday, on Citytv Toronto.

Meanwhile, nearly a dozen new shows will premiere on Citytv this fall, including the Steven Spielberg-produced drama “Terra Nova” and “The Playboy Club,” set in 1963 Chicago. The sitcom “2 Broke Girls” – created by Sex and the City writer/director Michael Patrick King and comedienne Whitney Cummings – will air Monday nights while “New Girl” featuring indie-film darling Zooey Deschanel runs on Tuesdays.

The schedule features the return of hit dramas “Body of Proof” and “Fringe” and returning comedy series, “Modern Family,” “Happy Endings,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Community.”  Added to that list are reality series “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“Cougar Town” and “30 Rock” are set to premiere mid-season on Citytv. Previous seasons of 30 Rock, meanwhile, will begin to air five nights a week on Citytv beginning in the fall.

“Rogers Media has the unique ability to reach Canadians across all platforms, and what is really exciting about the Citytv schedule is that we have acquired the rights to make these new series available on all screens,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media Inc.

Separately, the “Canada’s Got Talent” team will fan out across the country in the coming months looking for amazing acts. The host, judges and audition dates will be announced shortly.

“Much more than a singing or dancing competition, Canada’s Got Talent will showcase the top acts from magicians to jugglers, contortionists to fire eaters, singers and dancers – anything goes,” Rogers said in its announcement.

The Canadian version of the show, licensed from Freemantle Media and co-produced by Rogers and Insight Entertainment, will premiere next spring on Citytv.

Canada joins more than 40 countries including America, UK, and Germany , as markets with original “Got Talent” productions.

Another addition to Citytv in 2012 will be Secret Millionaire Canada. Based on the British hit series, in which millionaires temporarily give up their luxuries to live in impoverished communities and then give away thousands of their own dollars to the needy.