CTV Television Network

Mighty Jungle

The Mighty Jungle told the story of Dan Winfield, a zookeeper who lived with his family in a large enclosed rainforest, and who on taking up his new job was amazed to find that – the animals could talk.  Vinnie, the Brooklyn Sewer Alligator, Jack, the Californian Circus Sea Lion, Winston, the British Orangutan and Viola, the Latin Toucan, all interacted with Dan and his family – his wife Susan, and son and daughter Andrew and Alison (although only Dan knew his animal friends could talk) – in a series of half-hour adventure stories.

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Maclean's TV

Pamela Wallin hosted this weekly half-hour series, which was in essence a television version of the magazine whose name it bore. It was first launched on CTV’s Newsworld specialty channel, and later moved to the full network.

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John Woo's Once a Thief

Based on action director John Woo's critically successful movie, the one-hour television series continued the story of two young refugees from a criminal empire in Hong Kong, who were played by Ivan Sergei as Mac Ramsey and Sandrine Holt as Li Ann Tsai, with Jennifer Dale as The Director and Nicholas Lea (better known for his role as Alex Krycek on The X Files) as ex-cop Victor Mansfield.

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Earth: Final Conflict

One of CTV’s early successes with U.S series programming was Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. It enjoyed far better ratings in Canada than in the U.S., largely because NBC chose to schedule it at 8:30pm for the first two years, and then at 10pm in its third and final year. CTV, on the other hand, scheduled it at 7:30pm and then at 7:00pm (this was in the days before cable, when simulcasting was not an issue). This smart move gave them a big family audience, and the network was very disappointed when it was cancelled by NBC.

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Double Exposure

After enjoying ten years of success with their comedy show Double Exposure on CBC radio, it seemed inevitable that husband and wife comedy team Linda Cullen and Bob Robertson would eventually get the chance to transfer their talents to the TV screen. It was CTV who gave them that opportunity in 1997. Their accurate impressions of politicians, public figures and occasionally royalty, had gained them a loyal radio audience, and the television version allowed them to add their gifts for mimicry, and new dialogue, to existing news footage, often to very amusing effect.

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Dini

It was Dini Petty’s interest in skydiving that got her into broadcasting. When Toronto radio station CKEY decided to look for a woman who could fly their pink helicopter and do traffic reports, someone who knew Dini suggested that she might be the woman for the job. She earned her licence and logged some 5000 hours of flying time, while gaining local personality status in the process.

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Canadian Living TV

This series was a television version of Canadian Living Magazine, and its adaptation to a television format was the work of producer Sidney Cohen.  The daily half-hour series featured host Samantha Houston introducing a series of guest experts in fields like food and wine, home improvement, childcare, crafts, and health and wellness.

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Right In Your Own Backyard

Mark Cullen, whose Weall and Cullen family garden centres were at one time a feature of the Toronto horticultural scene, took his gardening expertise first to CFRB radio in Toronto and then to national radio syndication.  With his easy manner and good looks he was however a natural for television, and CTV gave him his own half-hour Sunday morning 9:00am series in the 1996-97 season. As a variation from the usual studio set-up, series creator/director Sidney Cohen took Mark and the production crew out to people’s gardens across Canada.

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Giggle Gang, The

This was used as an umbrella title for brief runs of various short animated series that ran in CTV’s Saturday morning block between 1996 and 1998, including For Better or Worse, Nilus the Sandman, Bunch of Munsch and Little Lulu. 

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F/X: The Series

The U.S. theatrical features F/X (1986) and F/X2 (1991) eventually spawned a Canadian made-for-TV sequel movie, titled F/X: The Illusion (1996), which served as the pilot for a one-hour television series that played on CTV and in syndication in the U.S. A U.S./Canada co-production, the F/X stories revolved around a New York movie special effects man who had his own mobile workshop, and who used his skills to help the cops solve difficult cases.

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