TORONTO, April 20, 2017 – Showcasing a mix of vibrant voices and mic drop moments during the creation of the next chart-topping song, CTV announced today from Canadian Music Week the new, six-part music television series, THE LAUNCH, premiering in 2018. The new international television format is the first TV project culminating from the previously announced partnership between Bell Media and world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta (AMERICAN IDOL), founder, president, and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, whose roster features international superstars like Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett, among others. Reinventing the music competition genre, THE LAUNCH delivers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a series of hit songs. Casting for the series is now open (see below), with production set to begin in Toronto this summer.
CTV also announced it has brought on board Eureka Productions’ acclaimed showrunner Paul Franklin, the creative mastermind behind the MASTERCHEF format, along with Canadian format pros Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, BATTLE OF THE BLADES), one of Canada’s preeminent production companies. With an award-winning background in music television production, Insight CEO John Brunton and Insight’s Lindsay Cox (THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION) are executive producers, along with Franklin and Borchetta.
Created for markets around the world, THE LAUNCH features a new and unique format: a group of unsigned musicians are mentored in the creation of a new original song by a panel of internationally renowned hit makers – including Borchetta.
“THE LAUNCH is the centerpiece in our multifaceted partnership with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “Together with Eureka Productions’ extraordinarily talented Paul Franklin and the amazing Insight Productions, we have assembled an A-list group of collaborators to deliver an incredibly captivating and entertaining series.”
“Bell Media is renowned for creating content that resonates with viewers, so who better to partner with on this international project and to keep viewers engaged,” said Scott Borchetta. “From Drake to Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes – Canada is known for its world class talent and I can’t wait to discover the world’s next superstar.”
“Unlike other music programs, THE LAUNCH is an inside look at what it really takes to find and break a new artist and create music’s next hit single,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “CTV has an incredible track record of adapting international formats for Canadian audiences, and now we are excited to bring this original Canadian format to the world.”
Casting for the internationally renowned music mentors is underway. Additional program format information and special guests will be announced in the coming months.
CTV also confirmed today that casting for THE LAUNCH is now open. Aspiring megastars can prep their auditions for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in music. The deadline for submission is May 10 at 11:59 PM ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to apply, fans can visit CTV.ca/TheLaunch, the CTV Facebook Page, and follow @TheLaunchTV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As founder of the Big Machine Label Group, Borchetta is one of thfacebook.com/ctve most successful forces in the music industry today. He has been lauded as a modern day “music mogul” by Rolling Stone while millions of fans know him as the man who discovered Taylor Swift and helped her ascend to global superstardom. Borchetta has also developed and signed more than 30 music acts, including musical giants Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, and many more. He is responsible for helping various artists achieve more than 400 million album sales and sending more than 165 songs to #1 throughout his career with a unique ability to cultivate talent and propel them to worldwide success.
Paul Franklin, co-founder of Eureka, is one of the world’s leading producers responsible for the creative execution of numerous hit television franchises. Most notably, he is the key creative architect behind MASTERCHEF, the mega-hit format now produced in 50 countries and its phenomenally successful spin-off series, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. In the company’s first year of operation Eureka has created and produced THE CHEFS’ LINE (SBS), a 65-episode food competition format; BEHAVE YOURSELF (Seven), a 10-episode comedy game show; and are co-producing THE VOICE AUSTRALIA for the Nine Network. In addition to these announced series, Eureka also has a number of upcoming productions with U.S. networks including Spike, TruTV, Oxygen and FYI. Prior to co-founding Eureka, Franklin served as Executive Vice President, Programming, at Shine America for three years where he launched and managed the company’s unscripted programming department. During his time at Shine America, Franklin was responsible for and served as an executive producer on such hit series as MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), THE BIGGEST LOSER (NBC), THE FACE (Oxygen), TABATHA TAKES OVER (Bravo), MINUTE TO WIN IT (GSN), RIOT (FOX), RESTAURANT STARTUP (CNBC), FAKE-OFF (TruTv), and GOING WILD (NatGeo Wild). Franklin also oversaw the launch of CTV’s top-rated hit MASTERCHEF CANADA.
Following in the successful footsteps of CANADIAN IDOL, THE IHEARTRADIO MMVAs, THE JUNO AWARDS, the MuchMusic and Coca-Cola Covers competition, and most recently, the launch of iHeartRadio Canada, THE LAUNCH was put into development in January 2016. The series was co-developed by and is produced in association with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, Paul Franklin of Eureka, and Bell Media, in partnership with Insight Productions in Canada. The format will be available for distribution globally by Bell Media Original Programming and Big Machine Label Group.
THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Scott Borchetta, Paul Franklin, and John Brunton and Lindsay Cox, in partnership with Bell Media. Executive producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.
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About Big Machine Label Group
Led by Founder, President and CEO Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Nash Icon Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, A Thousand Horses, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis, THE VOICE winners Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery, AMERICAN IDOL Season 15 winner Trent Harmon; up-and-comers The Cadillac Three, Drake White, Tucker Beathard, Tara Thompson, Midland, Carly Pearce and Delta Rae. BMLG also helms soundtracks for the hit TV show NASHVILLE. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice, and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights. Visit BigMachineLabelGroup.com for more information.
Eureka is a next-generation production company combining the expertise, credibility and key relationships traditionally found within large multi-national production companies with the energy and nimbleness of a startup. Launched in January 2016, Eureka has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney and produces both unscripted and scripted programs. Within less than a year of opening Eureka has over sixty hours of programming commissioned in 2017 with more series to be announced soon.
About Insight Production Company, Ltd.
Insight Productions, known for its award-winning ratings juggernauts, is Canada’s most established content producer. Headed by CEO John Brunton & COO Barbara Bowlby, Insight is an industry leader in the development, financing, and production of hit programming, both scripted and unscripted. The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration; The JUNO Awards; Canada’s Walk of Fame; Big Brother Canada; How To Change The World; and The Amazing Race Canada – the most watched Canadian series on record – were collectively nominated for 29 Canadian Screen Awards in 2017, more than any other prodco. Year after year, The Amazing Race Canada wins the Golden Screen, the CSA for the highest-rated reality program in Canada. Other productions include: Canadian Idol; Battle of the Blades; Never Ever Do This At Home; Intervention; Top Chef Canada; Ready Or Not; Falcon Beach; and The Truth About Alex. Recently, Insight produced The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration, a live concert special watched by one in three Canadians. Insight Productions was founded in 1979 and has since created thousands of hours of groundbreaking and multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. In 2015, Insight received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s inaugural Icon Award in recognition of its 35th anniversary. For more information visit www.insighttv.com.
About Bell Media Original Programming
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, MASTERCHEF CANADA, hit drama CARDINAL, and upcoming original series THE LAUNCH, THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, and Ilana Franks’ new detective drama. Among the original series on Bell Media pay, specialty, and streaming platforms are Space’s internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK as well as KILLJOYS and DARK MATTER; Bravo’s award-winning and most-watched original drama 19-2; CraveTV comedies LETTERKENNY and WHAT WOULD SAL DO?; Discovery’s first-ever drama FRONTIER; Comedy’s satirical news series THE BEAVERTON; and nine series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN and FISH THE DISH. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchise HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.
CTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 15 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.