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This article is about the Canadian children's channel. For the British television broadcaster, see Yorkshire Television. For other uses, see YTV.
YTV
YTV logo 2009.svg
YTV logo
Launched September 1, 1988
Owned by Corus Entertainment
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sister channel(s) Treehouse TV, Nickelodeon
Website YTV
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV Channel 551 (East)
Channel 552 (West)
Shaw Direct Channel 542 (East)
Channel 543 (West)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary

YTV is a Canadian English-language cable television specialty channel aimed at youth, available nationwide through cable and satellite television. Presently it is wholly-owned by Corus Entertainment. "YTV" is thought to mean "Youth Television", however the channel's website denies this.[1]

YTV's schedule is primarily children's programming, with target audiences ranging from pre-schoolers to young adults. At the upper-end of this range are repeats of dramas such as Smallville. Until recently, it aired a significant number of British sitcoms in late night; the last one removed was My Family. Among its claims to fame, it was the first to air the first completely computer-animated series, ReBoot, and the English versions of the anime show, Sailor Moon and the ongoing anime Bleach.

While it produces or commissions a substantial portion of its programming, YTV also acquires and airs most of the original series of the similar American service Nickelodeon, which was not available in Canada until 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 productions[citation needed]. In recent years, it has gained a strong anime element in an attempt to appeal more to teens, picking up titles ranging from InuYasha to Zatch Bell. It is spearheading that effort by introducing video-on-demand service offering "Anime 24/7".

The channel operates two time-shifted feeds, East (Eastern Time) and West (Pacific Time).

History

Launched on September 1, 1988, 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 would later be 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.

After Corus took control of the channel in 1999, YTV began to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding, with much less slime, with its mantra (and former slogan) being "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 thus presumably the "official" logo features this arrangement on a red screen of a stylized purple television set. The channel's advertisements often focus on promoting the brand through crude humour.

Former YTV logo used from 2006-2009. The current logo is based on this logo.

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, this look was adapted for the entire station.

In September 2009, the logo was changed a little bit. It featured new colours of the logo, and the background of the YTV logo was simplified. Now there are many large, opaque digital on-screen graphics telling you which programs are coming next, and promotions of the programs.

Programming blocks

Since the station launched, YTV has been well-known for dividing their broadcasts into distinct programming blocks for a variety of reasons. An unnamed programming block which later became "The Treehouse", and "The Afterschool Zone", now known simply as "The Zone", were the first and second blocks established in the station's early years. This was done primarily as a tactic 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 due to fewer ads being permitted compared to US stations. Instead of filling the time with public service announcements or other filler material, the idea of devoting several minutes between programs to interaction between live-action hosts was utilized, and has proven successful to this day.[citation needed]

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 blocks

  • The Zone is an animated programming block which airs weekday afternoons, and is hosted by Carlos Bustamente, previously accompanied by Stephanie "Sugar" Beard. After Paula Lemyr left YTV over the summer of 2006 - the pair hosted a weekend spinoff of The Zone to replace Vortex (although the programming remained the same).
  • Big Fun Weeknights airs during the evening hours after The Zone. Before September 2009, it was called "Big Fun Fridays" and also featured a weekly movie.[2]
  • Crunch airs animated programming during Saturday mornings from 7:00 a.m. EST to 12:30 p.m. EST.
  • YTV airs a block of Nickelodeon programming on Sunday mornings under the title Nickelodeon Sundays.[2]
  • The Moovibot name is used for movies during weekend afternoons on YTV. The block was previously known as 3 Hairy Thumbs Up (a homage to the "Keep it Weird" era of YTV) until late 2008. YTV also airs a movie aimed towards older audiences on Sundays, the ZAPX Movies block, hosted by Simon Mohos until September 2009.
  • Play Time airs during school time and is aimed for younger children. It mostly plays animated content.

Past programming blocks

The Treehouse

"The Treehouse" was a daily programming block aimed at children. It was hosted by PJ Todd, PJ Krista, and 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, What-a-Mess, Take Part, and PJ Katie's Farm.

This segment originally did not have a specific name, and ran from 10AM EST until switching over to "The Afterschool Zone". The original hosts were PJ Jen and PJ Chandra. PJ Gord acted as a substitute 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

YTV News was a 30 minute news show. It aired on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, and was advertised as being the only national, youth-oriented TV Newsmagazine.[citation needed] 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") was aired in a morning time slot as the name implies. Originally hosted by PJ Jenn and PJ Paul, with Aashna soon replacing Jenn, 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 re-branded as the "B-Zone", hosted by Taylor, and then re-branded again as the popular "B-Zone", hosted by PJ Katie (Jennifer Katie Racicot) and Zeke, a curious creature from outer space (performed by puppeteer Todd Doldersun).

Shift

"Shift" was broadcast in prime time and aired many of YTV's most popular shows. Some of "Shift's" programming included ReBoot, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Beasties (Known originally as Beast Wars, still used by that name in the USA), and Goosebumps. Shift was hosted by Aashna and Paul. It was dropped in favour of extending "The Zone" by one hour.

Brainwash

"Brainwash" was a former weekend programming block that aired on both 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. Shaun 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 (eventually forming writer/producer team "The Membrains"),[citation needed] 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 Denise and YTV's robotic mascot, Snit. "Snit Station" programming included Animaniacs, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Huckleberry Hound. When Snit later left "Snit Station", this block became known as the "Vortex" block.

Limbo

"Limbo" was YTV's first block for teenagers and featured programming such as Daria, Stressed Eric, Home Movies, and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married. Limbo originally aired from 8:00 p.m. EST to 12:00 a.m. EST, but was eventually pushed back to 1:00 a.m. EST to 5:00 a.m. EST before being cancelled.

The Dark Corner

A former 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 the pre-school demographic. "YTV Jr.'s" programming included Rupert, Groundling Marsh, and The Big Comfy Couch. This programming block later became obsolete as Treehouse TV, YTV's dedicated children's channel, became widely available. It is now replaced byPlay Time

Vortex

"Vortex" aired on YTV from 2001 to June 24, 2006. It was formerly hosted by Stephanie Beard, who left in 2003 and was replaced by Paula Lemyre. Unlike its predecessors, "Vortex" was exclusive to Saturday mornings. "Vortex" was also based mainly on action cartoons, not unlike Cartoon Network's "Toonami" block. It ended on June 24, 2006 upon Paula's departure from YTV, and was temporarily replaced by "The Zone Summer Weekends", a weekend edition of The Zone hosted by Sugar and Carlos - although the shows remained the same until Crunch launched in September 2006.

Bionix

Bionix was YTV's action programming and anime block airing from September 10, 2004-February 7, 2010. For the final time, 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.

Program jockeys

Until the mid-1990s, YTV called their program jockeys "PJs" in the same vein as disc jockey (DJ) or video jockey (VJ). Current hosts of these segments have since dropped the moniker of PJ.

Current

  • Carlos Bustamente hosts "The Zone", and former block "The Zone Summer Weekends".
  • Andy hosts "CRUNCH"
  • Andy also hosts ZAPX temporary until a new host is found, actors of YTV's show "That's So Weird" also hosts ZAPX (when Andy is out) and as temporary hosts as well.

Past program jockeys

Programs of note

As an early specialty station with a focus on an ambiguously defined area such as youth programming, YTV has incorporated many unique and niche programs into their schedule over the years.

British sitcoms

Due to a general lack of original programming for specialty services in its early years, YTV often filled its schedule with older or more obscure types of acquisitions not normally seen on other services. One of the most well-known additions has been British sitcoms, which were initially used to fill prime time slots, but due to popular demand remained prominently on the station's late night schedule for well over a decade. Highlights included the North American premiere of Red Dwarf as well as a persistent run of the improv series Whose Line is it Anyway?, but because YTV's standards for content had not been firmly established at the time, both series endured excessive censorship.

Although prime time programming slowly became more focused, programs such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, and Yes Minister found cult audiences in late night time slots, and aired free of time and content edits for years as more focus was placed on younger audiences viewing at earlier hours. However, in 2003 when YTV began marketing their late night hours towards older youth viewers, it was finally decided to remove the remaining shows from the schedule.

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers

In 1993, YTV obtained the Canadian broadcast rights to the sensationally popular American children's series Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers based on the Japanese 16th Season of Super Sentai on their channel, which played to a receptive audience on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, trailing the American broadcast by several months. However, due to a handful of complaints sent to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, YTV was pressured to remove the series from their line-up due to its violent content. Despite not actually being 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 ever aired on the network but commercials for toys and videos were advertised on the network, Fox and the CanWest Global System stations were the only broadcasters of the series in Canada. Newer versions of the series are run on Family.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In 1997, YTV premiered the popular series Buffy the Vampire Slayer one week before it began airing concurrently in the US on the WB. From the beginning this was regarded as a surprising move, as the mature nature of the series was a noticeable contrast to most of the station's acquisitions, and clearly catered towards an older audience despite seeing many late afternoon airings. However, it quickly became one of their highest rated programs, and YTV apparently took on a strong commitment to airing the series uncut and in its entirety. This was demonstrated most blatantly when one parental complaint was mockingly read on-air by former The Zone host Paul McGuire.

YTV's broadcast continued even after Buffy was moved to UPN in the United States, not only making the US broadcast more widely available in Canada, but also gradually leading to a notable increase in violent and sexual content. Regardless, for its entire run Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired before the Canadian watershed of 9:00 p.m. ET. The only exception was the season six episode "Seeing Red" which was premiered at 9:00 p.m. ET in 2002 due to extreme content.

Farscape

In 1999, the North American debut of Farscape on YTV garnered a reasonable amount of positive attention from Canadian sci-fi fans, but controversy arose in 2000 with YTV's decision to not acquire the rights to the show's second season and skip the cliffhanger finale to the first season. Apparently, the promotional materials from the Jim Henson company used to pitch the series to various networks misleadingly depicted it as being youth oriented due to its use of puppets[citation needed]. As such, the general direction of the series was a considerable contrast to YTV's expectations, and was ultimately deemed too "adult" for the network. This decision resulted in considerable fan outrage, and while the series eventually found a home on SPACE, many believe that the series was never able to attract its potential audience as a result of the initial cancellation.

Anime

Ever since hosting the North American broadcast premiere of Sailor Moon in August 1995, YTV has become a central hub for anime fandom in Canada. While Sailor Moon still remained their most popular and influential franchise (enough to provoke the final seventeen episodes of Sailor Moon R to be dubbed specifically for the Canadian market) franchises such as Dragon Ball and Pokémon saw massive success on the station in following years. However, in 1999, YTV's confusion in attempting to market Gundam Wing, which had proven to be a monumental hit on weekday afternoons in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, posed significant problems for the medium's exposure in Canada. Although the movie based on the series, Endless Waltz, (which was aired before the actual series) was shown completely uncut, YTV's decision to air an edited version of the series at 11:30 p.m. EST on weeknights due to uneven market research conducted through an online poll, essentially cut the series off from mainstream viewership.

This contributed to the complete lack of many well known anime series being run on YTV for the next several years. However, this dry period ended in 2003 when InuYasha was introduced to the station. Its popularity with teen viewers brought about the creation of the "Bionix" block, which aired on Friday nights. While some minor, inconsistent content edits occurred in programs like Gundam SEED as a result of this new focus (although the edits were few and nowhere near as severe as on American channels like Cartoon Network), the block has gradually matured with its content and tone falling more in line with that of Adult Swim. YTV's decision to air Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in 2005 met with some controversy due to the show's content and adult nature. Despite airing at midnight, the episode "Jungle Cruise" was skipped due to its gruesome theme and content, bringing more question as to why YTV would licence a show of this nature. While the episode was later re-aired uncut in a later timeslot, it remains unclear whether or not YTV will air the series' much more graphic second season.

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 nights to Saturday nights. Later that year, YTV made another move, and moved Bionix and its two remaining adult anime series to the midnight airing time on Saturdays. Concluded anime series were removed from the schedule and not replaced by new ones. This sparked many complaints among viewers, many of which were youth who were unable to continue watching because of the time schedule. Later in the year, the on screen Bionix concept was removed completely, but the two remaining adult anime series were aired 2 per series back to back each week. Daytime anime series currently aired during the day on Saturdays include Pokemon, Dinosaur King, Pretty Cure, and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The Bionix block was pulled from YTV on February 7, 2010[4].


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 program, 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 license until August 31, 2013.[5] The license 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.

Despite receiving the license in 2007, as of 2010, YTV, and its parent company, Corus Entertainment have yet to show any indication to launch a channel based on that license.

Like British programming, the channel has moved away from anime.

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 old and new anime programs that did not air on YTV itself. The video on demand service was previously titled "YTV Anime On Demand". Effective December 17, 2009, Bionix On Demand became defunct, and was replaced by YTV On Demand.[6]

Related businesses

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 station's own Nuclear Donkey.

The Big Rip is a site for online games. The first game GalaXseeds, was launched on February 14, 2007.

International distribution

References

External links








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