YTV (TV channel)
|Launched||September 1, 1988|
|Owned by||Corus Entertainment
(YTV Canada Inc.)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Sister channel(s)||Treehouse TV
|Bell TV||551, 552 (SD)
|Shaw Direct||542, 543 (SD)
71 / 571 (HD)
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Bell Fibe TV||551, 552 (SD)
|MTS||17, 18 (SD), 459 (HD)|
|Optik TV||9600 (SD)
YTV is a Canadian English-language Category A cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Corus Entertainment. Specializing in programming aimed at children ages 10–16 years of age with its preschool-targeted programming aimed at preschoolers ages 2–5 year olds, its programming consists includes original live-action and animated television series, movies, and third-party programming from U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon and other distributors.
The "YTV" name is thought by some viewers to be an abbreviation for "Youth Television", however the channel's website denies this, despite the fact that the network originally branded itself as a youth network at launch. YTV operates two time-shifted feeds, running on Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 3 Related services
- 4 Related businesses
- 5 International distribution
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Launched on September 1, 1988 at 7PM EST with a preview special by John Candy, YTV was the successor to two prior special programming services operated by various Ontario cable companies beginning in the late 1970s. The two largest shareholders in YTV were two cable companies, Rogers Cable and a company known as CUC Broadcasting, which was later acquired by Shaw Communications. By 1995, through various acquisitions and trades, Shaw had secured full control of YTV; it was spun off as part of Corus Entertainment in 1999.
In 1998, YTV began to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding, with much less slime, and began using the slogan "Keep It Weird". Over the years, YTV used a number of different on-air logos, featuring the same arrangement of white letters on various bizarre and imaginative creatures. The logo used on production credits, and presumably the "official" logo, features this arrangement on a red screen of a stylized purple television set. The channel's advertisements often focused on promoting the brand through crude humour.
In the fall of 2005, a new post-6:00 p.m. advertising style was developed for older audiences, which used a much simpler logo and much sleeker packaging with barely any gross-out tactics. In the spring of 2006, the simple logo first appeared on YTV's promos and even appeared on credits of YTV's newer original programming. In 2007, this look was adapted for the entire channel.
In September 2009, the logo was changed slightly: it featured new colours, and the background was simplified. Variations to the bumpers were reduced. Instead, there are large, opaque digital on-screen graphics telling viewers which programs are coming next, and promotions of the programs.
Programs of note
In its early years, YTV filled its schedule with older or more obscure types of acquired programs not normally seen on other services. British sitcoms were used to fill prime time slots, and remained on the channel's late night schedule for well over a decade, including the North American premiere of Red Dwarf and the improv series Whose Line is it Anyway?.
Programs such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, and Yes Minister were broadcast in late night time slots, and aired free of time and content edits. However, in 2003 when YTV began marketing its late night hours towards older youth viewers, it decided to remove the remaining shows from the schedule.
In 1993, YTV obtained the Canadian broadcast rights to the action-adventure series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which aired weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings on the channel, trailing the American broadcast by several months. However, due to complaints sent to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council about the violent content, YTV was pressured to remove the series from its lineup. Although not a member of the CBSC board, YTV complied and pulled the series before the end of its first season. While a phone-in poll was conducted to see if viewers wanted Mighty Morphin Power Rangers back on YTV, no further installments of the Power Rangers series aired on the channel.
Though commercials for Power Rangers toys and videos were advertised on YTV, Fox and the CanWest Global System stations became the only broadcasters of the series in Canada. Later versions of the series ran on Family from 2003 to 2010. Through its program distribution agreement with Nickelodeon U.S., the Power Rangers franchise began airing on YTV sister channel Nickelodeon Canada with the debut of Power Rangers: Samurai; that series later began airing on YTV on May 7, 2011, effectively bringing the franchise back to the channel that had previously barred it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In 1997, YTV premiered the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer one week before it began airing concurrently in the United States on The WB. The mature subject matter of the series catered to an older audience, but was often aired in the late afternoon, however YTV aired the series uncut and in its entirety. It became one of the highest rated programs on the channel. One parental complaint was mockingly read on-air by former The Zone host Paul McGuire.
YTV's broadcast continued even after Buffy the Vampire Slayer moved to UPN in the United States, not only making the U.S. broadcast more widely available in Canada, but also gradually leading to a notable increase in violent and sexual content. For its entire run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired before the Canadian watershed of 9:00 p.m. EST. The only exception was the season six episode "Seeing Red", which premiered at 9:00 p.m. EST in 2002 due to extreme content.
In 1999, YTV broadcast the North American debut of the Farscape sci-fi series but in 2000, it did not acquire the rights to the show's second season and skipped the cliffhanger finale to the first season.
YTV hosted the North American broadcast premiere of Sailor Moon in August 1995. The final 17 episodes of Sailor Moon R were dubbed specifically for the Canadian market. Series such as Dragon Ball and Pokémon were broadcast on the channel in following years. In 2000, YTV broadcast Gundam Wing, airing an edited version of the series at 11:30 p.m. ET on weeknights.
In late 2003 InuYasha premiered on the network. Its popularity with teen viewers brought about the creation of the "Bionix" block in 2004, which aired on Friday nights, and included Gundam SEED. YTV aired Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex at midnight because its adult content; the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Jungle Cruise" was not aired by the channel.
Between the end of Limbo and the beginning of "Bionix", YTV launched the Anime Master forum. The Anime Master character is portrayed as a red-suited masked ninja, dubbed in Snit's voice, and has made a few guest appearances in The Zone and "Vortex" segments. Live-action show hosts have also done interviews in Anime North, most of the guests being voice actors for popular animated shows on the channel. The interviews were shown in the live action segments between programmes (called Animinutes), or as a separate block. In 2009, YTV moved the Bionix block from Friday to Saturday nights, cutting down the length and number of anime series on the block significantly. On February 7, 2010, the Bionix block ended.
On September 29, 2006, YTV Canada Inc. announced it had applied to the CRTC for permission to launch a Category 2 English-language specialty channel called The Anime Channel. The proposal included minimum 85% animated and related programming and maximum 15% information-based programming, targeted at adults over the age of 18. A meeting with the CRTC was held on November 14, 2006. On January 30, 2007, CRTC approved the application for the licence to run until August 31, 2013. The licence allowed the channel to allocate not less than 65% of the broadcast year to anime programs, not more than 35% of the broadcast year to anime-related programs, not less than 85% of the broadcast year to programming from categories 7(d; theatrical feature films aired on TV), 7(e; animated television programs and films) and 7(g; other drama), with no more than 15% of the broadcast year dedicated to information based programs. Corus Entertainment did not apply for an extension to launch this channel and failed to launch this channel within the required 36-month period.
YTV's schedule primarily features children's and teen-oriented programming, with target audiences ranging from preschoolers to young adults. At the upper-end of this range are repeats of dramas such as Smallville. It aired a significant number of British sitcoms in late night, My Family for example, but these have been dropped. It was the first channel to air the first completely computer-animated series ReBoot, and it broadcast the North American premiere of Sailor Moon. While some of its shows are targeted at a younger audience, others are intended for older teenagers, with some of the shows dealing with mature content and adult themes.
While it produces or commissions a substantial portion of its programming, YTV also acquires and airs most of the original series broadcast by the similar American service Nickelodeon, which was not available in Canada until Corus launched a domestic version of the channel on November 2, 2009. Because of strong contractual ties, YTV has exclusive access to all Nickelodeon animated titles, and to date has aired every one of these programs. However, rights to some Nickelodeon live-action series were given to Family Channel from the 1990s to the mid-2000s.
Since the channel was launched, YTV has divided its programming into distinct blocks for a variety of reasons. An unnamed programming block which later became "The Treehouse", and "The Afterschool Zone", now known as "The Zone", were the first and second blocks established in the channel's early years. This was done primarily to comply with Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) restrictions on advertising in children's programming: popular imported programming would run a few minutes short because fewer ads are permitted than are allowed on U.S. channels. Instead of filling the time with public service announcements or other filler material, the several minutes between programs were devoted to interaction between live-action hosts.
Other blocks, such as "Limbo" and "Bionix", have been created for the specific purpose of designating programming intended for older or specific audiences. Without similar advertising restrictions being applied, these blocks are unhosted.
Current programming blocks
- The Zone - airing weekday afternoons from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, The Zone is the channel's flagship programming block featuring a mix of animated and live-action series; hosted by Carlos Bustamante.
- The Zone Weekend - a weekend morning version of The Zone hosted by Andy Chapman; airing from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET/PT.
- Big Fun Movies - a movie block featuring three (and sometimes four) films running back-to-back, beginning on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. ET/PT; it is hosted by Carlos Bustamante.
Past programming blocks
- Big Fun Weeknights - a primetime block airing weeknights from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, featuring live-action comedy shows from Nickelodeon.
- The Treehouse - This block was a daily programming block aimed at preschoolers ages 2-5 year olds; it was hosted by PJ Todd, PJ Krista, and Jennifer Racicot (PJ Katie), and featured puppets known as The Fuzzpaws. "The Treehouse" aired many shows such as Wishbone, Bananas in Pyjamas, Once Upon a Hamster, The Big Comfy Couch, Dudley the Dragon, Fraggle Rock and PJ Katie's Farm. This segment originally did not have a specific name, and ran from 10:00 a.m. ET until switching over to "The Afterschool Zone". The original hosts were Jenn Beech and Shandra. Gord Woolvett acted as a substitute PJ for both this block and "The Afterschool Zone". "The Treehouse" block has since been spun off into its own specialty channel, Treehouse TV.
- The Alley - The Alley was the original weekend morning programming block, which was hosted by the existing PJs from the weekday segments, along with the Grogs.
- YTV News - This series was a half-hour news program aimed at children; it aired on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and was advertised as being the only national, youth-oriented television newsmagazine. YTV News was hosted by Janis Mackey, Marret Green, Exan, Honey Khan, Cory Atkins, Mark McAllister, and Wilf Dinnick, who covered many stories from Canadian elections to world issues. Viewers of YTV News were encouraged to create their own news editorials about themselves and send them in to be broadcast. YTV News shared facilities with CTV News, and was briefly rebroadcast on CTV on weekend mornings, albeit with the title Wuz Up.
- The Breakfast Zone - "The Breakfast Zone" (or "B-Zone") aired in a morning time slot. Originally hosted by Jenn Beech and Paul McGuire, with Aashna Patel soon replacing Beech, the block was intended as a morning version of "The Zone", but functioned more as a long-running single program than an actual block. Programs started at much more arbitrary times as the banter between the live-action hosts became more of a central focus than mere filler material. The block was later rebranded as the "B-Zone", hosted by Taylor, and then rebranded again as the "B-Zone", hosted by PJ Katie (Jennifer Racicot) and Zeke, a curious creature from outer space (performed by puppeteer Todd Doldersun).
- Shift - This primetime block aired many of YTV's most popular shows. Some of "Shift's" programming included ReBoot, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Beasties, and Goosebumps. Shift was hosted by Aashna Patel and Paul McGuire. It was dropped in favour of extending "The Zone" by one hour.
- Brainwash - A weekend programming block that aired on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was hosted by Carrie (musician and puppeteer Ali Eisner) and Ed (Shaun Majumder) from a colourful set featuring pipes and video screens. Majumder left the show in 1997 and was replaced by Peter Oldering. The concept was created and originally produced by Kim J. Saltarski and Atul N. Rao, later produced by Karen Young. Brainwash had many slogans such as "Put a spin on your reality", "Headaches are an excellent source of iron", and "YTV's laundromat of choice". The theme was a play on the name using bubbles, washing machines, and brain visuals. Brainwash was similar to "The Zone", but was much longer. It featured programs such as Bump in the Night, Astro Boy, Sailor Moon, and The Pink Panther. Brainwash was eventually replaced with Snit Station.
- Snit Station - "Snit Station" replaced "Brainwash" in the weekend morning slot and was hosted by Stephanie Broschart and YTV's robotic mascot, Snit. "Snit Station" programming included Animaniacs, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Garfield, and Huckleberry Hound. When Snit later left "Snit Station", this block became known as the "Vortex" block. Snit Station was produced by Christine McGlade.
- Limbo - "Limbo" was YTV's first block for teenagers and featured programming such as Daria, Stressed Eric, Home Movies, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Downtown. Limbo originally aired from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. ET, but was eventually pushed back to 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. ET before being cancelled.
- The Dark Corner - A programming block that aired on Saturday evenings, "The Dark Corner" featured many of YTV's darker shows, such as Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Freaky Stories and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- YTV Jr. - "YTV Jr." boasted 40 hours of commercial-free programming per week and was aimed at preschoolers ages 2-5 year olds. "YTV Jr.'s" programming included Rupert, The Big Comfy Couch, Dudley the Dragon. This programming block later became obsolete as Treehouse TV, YTV's dedicated children's channel, became widely available; it has since been replaced by YTV PlayTime.
- Vortex - "Vortex" aired on YTV from 2001 to June 24, 2006. It was hosted by Stephanie Broschart, who left in 2003 and was replaced by Paula Lemyre. Unlike its predecessors, "Vortex" was exclusive to Saturday mornings; the block was based mainly around action-themed cartoons. It ended on June 24, 2006 upon Lemyre's departure from YTV, and was temporarily replaced by "The Zone Summer Weekends", a weekend edition of The Zone hosted by Stephanie "Sugar" Beard and Carlos Bustamente; however, the shows remained the same until Crunch was launched in September 2006, then ended in September 2013. The block was produced by Christine McGlade.
- Bionix - This block was YTV's action programming and anime block airing from September 10, 2004-February 7, 2010. The block aired on Sundays from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. EST from September 2009 until the block's demise. Bionix originally aired on Friday nights, and later on Saturday nights, and was a main source for anime programming on YTV.
- 3 Hairy Thumbs Up - 3 Hairy Thumbs Up was YTV's movie block until 2006, when YTV replaced it with Zapx. After its host left and YTV abandoned the "Keep It Weird!" campaign, the block remained unnamed for a while until Big Fun Movies replaced it.
- Big Fun Weeknights - a primetime block airing weeknights from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, featuring live-action comedy series from YTV and Nickelodeon.
- YTV PlayTime airs during school time (weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET/PT) and is aimed at preschoolers ages 2-5 year olds; it mostly features animated series. Unlike YTV's other blocks, YTV Playtime is broadcast commercial-free.
Current program jocks
- Carlos Bustamante hosts "The Zone" and Big Fun Movies
Past program jockeys
- Stephanie Beard (Sugar)
- Elizabeth Becker
- Jenn Beech, also known as PJ Jenn
- Stephanie Broschart
- Rachael Crawford
- Laura DaSilva
- Ali Eisner
- Janis Mackey Frayer, also known as PJ "Jazzy" Jan
- The Grogs, puppeteers Jamie Shannon and Jason Hopley
- Phil Guerrero, also known as PJ "Fresh" Phil
- Laurie Gelman
- Daryn Jones
- Pat Kelly, also known as Random Pat
- PJ Krista
- Paul McGuire, also known as PJ Paul
- Simon Mohos
- Ajay Fry
- Paula Lemyre
- Shaun Majumder (Ed Brainbin)
- Aashna Patel, also known as PJ Aashna
- Joyce Quansah
- Jennifer Katie Racicot, also known as PJ Katie
- Michael Quast, also known as Michael Q
- Anand Rajaram, who voiced Snit
- Atul N. Rao, the puppeteer of the original Snit
- PJ Rob
- Shandra, also known as PJ "Rockin" Shan
- Marty Stelnick, puppeteer
- Taylor (Phil McCordic)
- PJ Todd
- Gordon Michael Woolvett, also known as Gord the PJ Man
Treehouse TV is a Category A cable and satellite specialty channel which airs programing targeted to preschoolers, it launched on November 1, 1997. The channel's name is taken from YTV's now-defunct children's programming block, The Treehouse. Treehouse TV is carried nationwide throughout Canada and broadcasts its programming without commercial interruption.
Nickelodeon is a Category B cable and satellite specialty channel that was launched on November 2, 2009 and is based on the U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon. As with its counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, Nickelodeon airs programs aimed at children, including live-action series and animation. Unlike YTV, Nickelodeon operates solely on an Eastern Time Zone schedule.
Bionix On Demand
In 2008, Corus Entertainment began offering a video-on-demand service called "Bionix On Demand" to cable providers. Rogers Cable and Shaw Cable were the only providers to offer the service. The service offered older and newer anime programs that did not air on YTV itself. The video-on-demand service was previously titled "YTV Anime On Demand". Bionix On Demand was discontinued on December 17, 2009, and was replaced by YTV On Demand.
- Whoa! magazine, YTV's official magazine, is published four times a year (spring, summer, fall, and winter). Whoa! is distributed through Pizza Hut, YTV events, Chapters and Indigo book stores, Canadian newsstands, and subscriptions.
- Big Fun Party Mix CDs contain many songs from YTV's Hit List, plus performances by the channel's own Nuclear Donkey.
- Nickelodeon (Canada)
- Treehouse TV
- Adult Swim (Canada)
- Cartoon Network (Canada)
- Teletoon Retro
- Télétoon Rétro
- Bell Satellite launches YTV and Family Channel in high definition, Digital Home, 2011-01-12
- Corus Entertainment 2000 Annual Report
- Flow Cable channel lineup
- Cable Bahamas channel lineup
- Official website
- YTV Media
- Official Site as of 1997 at the Wayback Machine (archived April 12, 1997)
- Museum of Broadcast Communications: YTV